Monday, January 25, 2016

We can hear Alyssa's distinct laugh looking at this photo

letter from Sister Shumway - Jan. 25, 2016

We got a text from Brittney (potential investigator), she wants us over for dinner as soon as she gets better from this sickness she's had. We had talked with her for about an hour just a couple days before and she told us she has a lot of Mormon friends. She joked about not knowing why she wasn't Mormon yet.

That same week we got a call from Jennifer (investigator), we were in an appointment so she had left a voicemail asking when she could be baptized. We hadn't heard from her after trying over and over to contact her in about a month, so we called her back and set an appointment for the next day. That lesson was amazing. We discussed her feelings and questions about the Restoration, her reading in The Book of Mormon, and taught the Plan of Salvation. We set a date for her to be baptized on February 6th and she wants to meet with us every other day leading up to it. So our next appointment was on Saturday. She met us at the stake center at 4 with her fiance (Fernando) and we reviewed The Gospel of Jesus Christ, we had a great discussion again and then stayed for a baptism at 5. She loved it! She keeps talking about how good she feels about all these things. Afterward she and Fernando took us out to the Macaroni Grill (next time you go get the Penne Rustica!). Our next appointment is tonight when we'll start the Commandments.

Wednesday the 13th we had Zone Training Meeting. Tuesday the day before I got a call from the zone leaders asking if I'd give a 45-minutes training on obedience for it. I accepted the assignment but was really confused, usually only the sister training leaders and the zone leaders give trainings at ZTM along with a guest from the stake high council or mission presidency. The zone leaders and President Lutz (mission presidency counselor) did, but I guess mine replace the sister training leaders (not to mention they usually have a month's notice). With the help from Dad's institute lesson in Doctrines of the Gospel on obedience, I put together a training and can say it was a success. Though I still pray it was what was needed and that it came from The Spirit and not from me.

Saturday (the 16th) we had what's called Zone 24's. Basically the entire zone gets together on a Friday night and we all switch companions for a day, meet again the following night, and re-exchange. No evaluation or anything after, just to build unity and see miracles. I went with Sister Bambus in her area, Laguna Beach (we didn't choose, the zone leaders and sister training leaders set it all up). She's pretty awesome, and one of the sister training leaders. She came out the transfer after I did. We had a good time, my favorite part was at dinner though. The member lived in an apartment on the 4th story and to give you an idea of the experience, we walked out to the balcony, looked down, and the edge of the water on the shore where the waves came in was directly below our feet. The weekend of Zone 24's was Stake Conference, it was nice to take a break from our 9-hour block.

Last Monday we had permission to leave the mission to got to Deseret Book (Sister Phinney needed stuff). It was sooooo fun to just look around for a couple hours.

Tuesday I had an interview with President Orgill right after emailing you. That is always a neat experience and I learned a whole lot. I won't go into too much detail but we spoke a lot on spiritual gifts, and there was a point when he expressed complete confidence in me. To summarize I guess, this interview was a tender mercy and an answer to some of my prayers.

That night, I was back with President Orgill, President Lutz, their wives, and a bunch of the sisters - including my trainer, Sister Hall - for dinner, or what we call a departing dinner. Sister Hall and a couple others are going home next week, so she invited me and a few others to come. It was a lot of fun and the food was really good.

That last picture you got in a text was from the Mulville family. Here's the make up of their family: Grandpa John and his wife (less-active) live in the Wood Canyon ward. Their son, John Jr. (also less-active) lives in the Aliso Viejo ward with his wife Kirsten (not a member) and their son, John III (also not a member). Colin (John III's brother, John Jr. and Kirsten's son, and Grandpa John's grandson) is serving a mission in Scotland/Ireland. (They all go by John by the way - except Kirsten, Grandma, and Colin of course - this is just how we keep them straight) And the best partis that they live literally next door to the Nixons (Scott and Mary aren't members, their son, Tommy, is serving a mission in British Columbia). We stopped by and they were just as excited to meet us and invite us in as the Nixons were. Kirsten turned on the oven and told us she was making cookies so we had to stay for at least 20 minutes. She then took a picture to send to you. We had a fun conversation and to answer your question I had the thought to give her Mosiah 28. I explained a little bit of background and that the story doesn't end at the end of that chapter. We have yet to go back to follow up. (No pun intended with John Bytheway, by the way)

Wednesday we had a worldwide missionary broadcast, which was pretty cool. I especially loved what Elder Neil L. Andersen spoke about the Doctrine of Christ, and he said "If you are ever unsure of what to say, speak of The Savior." We also reviewed Elder David A. Bednar's training about 2 Nephi 33:1 about the Holy Ghost being carried UNTO peoples hearts, including our own. Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught that everything is subordinate to the fact that we are children of God, and more on The Doctrine of Christ; I thought a lot on what Dad sent last week about the significance of God having a physical body in alignment with that. I also loved that Elder L. Whitney Clayton said, "The Restoration is a fact." We also got an update that there are currently about 75,000 full time missionaries serving in 418 missions across the world.

Later that day we had the opportunity to attend a session at the temple. I used my new bag you gave me for Christmas (it's perfect! I love it!). I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love the temple.

That night at dinner when they asked where we were from, I turned to the younger kids and asked where they thought we were from. As they were thinking, the mom asked some questions and at least found out I was from The States and Sister Phinney was out-of-country. While the kids were still thinking she turned to Sister Phinney and said, "Well, you're probably not from Canada..." which got us laughing and she was surprised at how accurate she was but in the opposite way. She then turned to me and said, "Okay, well you don't have a Texas accent, so..." she had no idea where we were from before guessing. The kids were laughing hysterically.

Thursday found me back in Rancho Santa Margarita since I found out that one of my investigators, Leslie, had passed away and I had permission to attend the funeral. She was the one who had severe colon cancer but she had 7 kids between ages 2-13. She had been put in a hospice with kidney failure and stayed there only a few days. It was really tough to see her husband and kids, and all the thoughts of them that I'm sure were running though everyone's minds there.

On another note, Saturday Gabriela and Alexis (less-active) took us out for breakfast at Denny's, which was a lot of fun. We're talking about Patriarchal Blessings with Alexis and she's doing really well, we're arranging for her to get rides to church while her mom is still trying to figure out her work situation.

We had a lot to look forward to that day, several set appointments and plans, but that all got thrown out the window as we were driving from Denny's. I was driving down a major road in the middle lane of 3 going about 50mph. As I came up over a hill I briefly saw a car sitting on the road in front of me directly perpendicular to our car, so in the split second I had to react I tried swerving into the other lane but there was no time and we almost T-boned that car, but we did directly crash into. Had I not slightly swerved I would've hit the car directly at the driver's door. The other driver was an older lady pulling out from a side road with a stop sign, but she was going so slow I didn't realize her car was even moving, it had seemed to be only sitting in the middle of the road. The accident wasn't preventable, neither was it my fault. We slid to a stop and when I opened my eyes, all the airbags had gone off and smoke was filling the car. We turned the engine off and I got out, Sister Phinney had to crawl over through my door since hers was against the other car and couldn't be opened. Our car is totaled, the other driver is fine, and I walked away untouched, not a single scratch. I've literally had worse injuries flipping through pages and getting a paper cut. Sister Phinney is fine too, but she may have broken her thumb, she has a huge gash on her leg but it's not deep just scraped up on the surface, and she hit her head so we were brought to the hospital to get it checked out just in case. They said there's no problem when we got there and she was good to go after signing a few papers. Sister Bambus and her companion picked us up and brought us to the church where we met with Jennifer and Fernando as I explained earlier in this email. The next day I didn't feel sore in the slightest like the doctors told me I would, but Sister Phinney woke up with pain in her back, neck, and head so we stayed home to let her rest and recover. I have no idea how or why I came out of this crash unaffected.

Last night we had dinner at the bishop's house with Scott Nixon, Mary couldn't make it because she was sick again. But it was good, I'm so glad they're starting to meet more members.

I printed your email from last week Landon, and I've read your question over and over. To be honest, I can see myself turning around and asking the same thing in the same way. I've thought of it a lot this week and I have a few thoughts just form my experience.
One way I feel Heavenly Father's love for me a little more is by reading the words of the prophets. The scriptures are wonderful, and my testimony of them, especially The Book of Mormon, is unshaken. But I have grown to delight in the words of modern-day prophets, and the confidence and insight I recognize as I study and ponder them brings a warm spirit with motivation to act accordingly. You've experienced this. I love President Monson, his counselors, and each of the Apostles. Every morning while getting ready for the day I listen to the talks from the most recent General Conference over and over. This allows The Spirit to bring specific principles back to remembrance often throughout each day, and when I make that connection and apply the principle, I am also reminded by a subtle but distinct feeling that Heavenly Father has love for me in the details of my life relating to what is most important. I hope that makes sense...
Another way I feel love from Him is by watching how He shows love for those around me. When others tell of tender mercies or miracles, express gratitude, or invite those around them to be included, I know He is active in my experiences as well. I used to feel that others' accomplishments, opportunities, or involvement took away from my own, and I know I have acted on that selfish mindset throughout most of my time growing up, but as I've sought ways to turn that around I have more fully realized the immeasurable privileges and blessings I do have as a result of His love for me. I'm coming to know what it means to rejoice in the joy of those I associate with rather than getting in the way of my own chances to experience joy. This requires active eyes to see and ears to hear, and you are doing the very things that allow that. But this is what I've learned from you, this is not new to you and you're even really good at it and have shown me how. It just took me much longer than it should have to humbly, prayerfully, and actively follow that example. And I didn't think and couldn't know of His love this way until I did. In the first chapter of The Book of Mormon it says, "I . . . will show unto you that the tender mercies of The Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." and in the last chapter of The Book of Mormon it says, "I would . . . that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts."
The last thought I have for you so far with this is something I am striving to apply more. How do you personally feel love from those around you? Oftentimes Heavenly Father helps us comprehend (to a degree) eternal principles, like His love, through our earthly experiences. For example, our family relationships are a pattern of our heavenly home; one specific way I know that is real is because the times I've talked with Dad help me make my relationship with Heavenly Father more meaningful and trusting as I talk with Him through prayer. It's easier to explain that to you than to most people because you know Dad, but at the same time that application is also very personal to me in a special way that no one else (including you) could fully understand. I believe Heavenly Father's love for each of us individually is much like that, impossible to convey exactly the same to 2 separate people but still perfect for all of us. Isn't He wonderful?

All that said though, I sure love you Landon. I really hope you can feel that because I have felt love from you even through last week's email when you sent me that question. And just as I explained about 2 paragraphs up, that doesn't take away my love fore the rest of the family in the slightest. I love you Casan, I love you Aubrey, I love you Mom, I love you Dad, I love you Kynsie, I love you Tyler. I love Heavenly Father and I love my Savior Jesus Christ.

I forgot a ponderizing scripture this time so here is my inspirational one of the week for ya - Alma 18:27.

- Sister Shumway

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Letter from Alyssa - Jan. 19, 2016

Aliso Viejo -
We taught Kayla the restoration. She like it, said she would be baptized if she likes our church more than other churches. Committed to read the Book of Mormon as well. But she got kicked out of her apartment so she's in LA and back and forth between here and there (don't know how, her situation is so unstable it's pretty much impossible to help her steadily progress). But we keep in contact.
We visited Carol (less-active). She wasn't feeling well, so we came in and played piano and she sang and by the end of our visit she felt so good and happy and thanked us over and over for coming. Now we just need to find her a ride to church.
Jennifer (investigator) is not answering calls, visits, texts, nothing. She has disappeared again.
Gabriela (less-active) seems to be trying to come to church, but we wonder if she and her daughter are being really flakey. Her daughter's birthday was last week and though we had plans with them, most all of them fell through. We're trying to get them connected with the bishop and stuff, but contacting them is tricky too.
Jimie (recent convert) texted us asking us to come over to do her hair because she really likes how I do mine (...?). Her hair is almost to her waist, so I actually pulled in back in a ponytail, braided it, and twisted it around into a bun with a scrunchy around it like mom would do for me. It turned out too.
We met the Mulvilles, a part member family that lives literally next door to the Nixons. Same story: mom and older son are not members, dad is less active, younger son is on a mission (except with the Nixons the dad isn't a member either). They recognized us, invited us in just like the Nixons did, and she started baking cookies so she could make us stay for at least 20 minutes. She also asked through conversation if I had a particular part of the Book of Mormon she should read since she's never read it, that was neat. Hopefully she will read it.

Wood Canyon
Brittney is a potential we finally got in contact with. Talked with her for about an hour just about Mormons and what they do and such. Her friend was over and he asked a lot of questions too, we ended up giving him a Book of Mormon (she already had one). Got her number.
Logan was baptized (Elders' investigator), and Lorenzo (recent convert of a few months) got to baptize him, they're close friends and seniors in high school. That was cool

I have a whole lot more to tell you about, I'll email you Monday and it'll be long. But I ran out of time I'm so sorry! I was excited to email this week because I had so much good stuff. Talk to you soon! Promise!

Love you all!!

- Sister Shumway

Monday, January 11, 2016

Letter from Sister Shumway - Jan. 11, 2016

Here is how I started my email to President Orgill this week - "I'm thinking of where I was last week (only a week ago, wow how can so much happen in a week!) as far as my testimony and the progress I've made in fulfilling my role in the work. Both trying experiences and miracles have helped me become stronger, as they always do for me." or in other words, it has been another week in the mission field.

Starting in Wood Canyon.
Patty (less active) is old and being taken care of in a home. She really misses her husband who passed away a few years ago so coming to church without him is emotionally trying for her. We've been visiting her for some time now but this is the first time she opened up and expressed how grateful she was for our visits and that she loves us. We were a little taken back but now we see a little better the importance of the little things that are adding up to help her.

April (less active) came to the music devotional last night, and she loved it even though she wasn't feeling well.

Sister Nielson (RS President) came with us to visit Julie (less active). That was so great! We gave Julie a skirt so she can come to church, she's slowly opening up to the idea. She wants to take us out to eat sometime soon to a place called "Texas BBQ." We continue to read the Book of Mormon with her, and Sister Nielson helped so much to make a connection with her.

Belinda, Viviana, and Kristin all 3 different less actives that we were able to contact this week who have been out of touch with The Church for years. We got their current cell phone numbers which is a huge step! A lot of reactivation efforts are alive in this ward, and most responses have not been so great (we have contacted 66 this week between the 2 wards) but it's been worth every minute to reach those who are even a little responsive!

Moving to Aliso Viejo.
Joy went less active only a few years after being baptized, so a lot of the reason she isn't active is because she didn't get far enough into the Church to be retained in activity, so she hardly realizes she's less active let alone what that means. She is very giving, a little too giving. We've been warned if she ever takes us out to eat she'll order the entire menu. Upon meeting her for the first time last week she welcomed us in, invited us to join her in painting pictures (Kynsie, you would have loved it!), made us hot chocolate, and brought us Ugg boots to keep our feet warm. It was a little weird, but she talked and talked with us like we were her favorite nieces and wants us over more regularly.

Susan (less active) answered the door and said to come back because it was a bad time then. So we went back, we thought she wouldn't answer or it'd be another bad time as it usually is, but this time there was a note on the door for us. She was expecting us and looking forward to our visit, but she didn't want to miss us so the note said to come on in through to the back where she was. And she is definitely a talker. She's another one we'll visit with often.

Carol (less active) wasn't feeling well this week, but she wants us to come back when her throat is feeling better because she loves to sing and wants me to play for her.

Gabriela (less active) is incredible. She said she'd be at church yesterday and when she wasn't we went by last night to see what was up. She was almost in tears when we came. She had wanted to come with her daughter Alexis, but work kept her again. So she worked out a way to not work Sundays so she could come. She told us her life story and she has had to fight her ex-husband for custody of her daughter. It's settled now, and has been for a while, but for a long time she and Alexis went through so much that they wouldn't have had to were it not for her ex-husband. But anyway, Alexis turns 18 this week and Gabriela wants to take us out to dinner with her the night before to celebrate (we've made a fun, close connection with Alexis). We also have a gift for her and we're making chocolate cake. Gabriela asked us to help her get a temple recommend again, so we have plans to work with her and the bishop to help her and Alexis.

FINALLY set another appointment to meet with Jennifer. She's no longer seeing Fernando (who introduced her to the Church) but she lives in different ward boundaries anyway and told us she still wants to come to church just not to his ward. Which works perfectly! It's still the Church that she's interested in, it's normally hard to transition converts to their own ward when they're fellowshipped in another but now that's taken care of before she's even baptized, and we still get to teach her because she's a single sister and there's no sisters assigned to her actual ward.

A member came up to us at church and just gave us a referral. I wanted to hug him for it (I didn't, that'd be weird). We're going to try them tonight.

Kayla just came to church. She's not a member, she's 18 and has been living on her own for a year because she had to escape her abusive parents. She's looking for money and work opportunities, so she called the Church and they sent the referral to the Elders. We got her info, a member brought her to church, and she explained she was there for temporal help. We gave her a bunch of employment opportunities in the area for her field of interest, then we gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and she agreed to meet with us Tuesday night to learn more about it.

On another note, a few random things.

Landon - my companion says hi and wants to now if you like radishes.

I have been forgetting to bring this up ever since Christmas but are one of you missing the cowboy boot that goes to the texas ornaments we got this year? There was one in the bag you got me.

Our meeting times Sunday have changed from 7:30 to 7am all the way through finishing church a little after 4. It is quite exhausting.

HALF of this week was in a constant rainstorm. 3 and a half days. I thought California would flood, break off and sink into the ocean because of how unusual that is. It's been pretty cool.

Dad, the member that was supposed to send your birthday present a month ago has been swamped and totally forgot :( and she's in my previous ward so I've been trying to get a hold of it. So it will probably come as much more of a surprise and a failure on timing, but it will come. It's too good to not send now.

Funny story - since I drive, Sister Phinney usually has the cell phones (one for each ward). But she has this habit of just reading texts to me without telling me who they're from. We texted a few people the other day around lunchtime. One of those was Brother Denton, we were asking him when we could come by and meet with him because we had a few questions. Meanwhile, we asked Elder Medina in another text how to tell when a mango is ripe (he's from the Philippines and we really wanted to eat our mango during lunch). After she sent that, our phone vibrated and she read to me "Good question, let me ask my wife." So it sounded to me that that came from Elder Medina since I had forgotten about Brother Denton. We were in tears laughing, and haven't told Elder Medina about it though. He never did respond.

Ponderizing scripture this week:

"For behold, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto my father, yea, even in a dream, and said unto him: Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done; and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life. And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart. And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands."
1 Nephi 2:1, 19-20.

Love you all, let's go get another week!

- Sister Shumway

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

letter from Sister Shumway - January 4, 2016

It's 2016! whoa.
Ok I will try to make up for last week's short letter this week.
We are getting on top of things in this area. I'll start with the Aliso Viejo ward.
There's a part member family, Scott and Mary are not members but Scott's son (Mary's step-son) is serving a mission in Canada. But the bishop told us he was serving in Sister Phinney's home ward so he met her parents. Sister Phinney then emailed him last week and talked to him, so we decided to go meet his parents (especially since they aren't members). And we did, I think the following night. They are wonderful people! We stood at the door for a moment and Mary didn't really know what we were doing there, but then she recognized the nametag and got super excited and welcomed us in. It was a new experience for non-members to be excited to see us. Scott got excited too, and we all sat down and visited for a little over an hour. Turns out that Mary had met with the missionaries when she was 16, but didn't feel it was her time yet to become a member. Their son, Tommy, was baptized a little over 2 years ago when Scott and Mary were married and has been out in the field since June. Mary loves to receive his emails! As we talked, we found out Scott has 3 old cars he's working on, which is awesome because Sister Phinney restored an old firebird from I think the 70s. Scott is also a fireman and Sister Phinney's dad was a fireman in the past. Mary is interested in family history work, and wants us over for dinner sometime soon so we can show her family search. They also want the Elders to come move the fridge back into their kitchen once the flooring is done (it's being done today). So we are going to go back and hopefully start up the lessons with them!
Alexis is a 17-year-old less active who wants to serve a mission. We went over one night and she and her mom were also excited to see us! They said we came at the perfect time and they want to start coming to church again. This is awesome because Sister Phinney was less active for a while before her mission too, and the sister missionaries contacted her and asked her to help them teach a lesson. Now she's here.
Carol (less active) had a birthday last week. She LOVES music, especially singing and piano so I went to play her a song for her birthday, and we brought cinnamon bread for a gift. She loved it, but it was a short visit since her sister (active) came to take her out for dinner. Her sister made the comment when she found out through conversation that Carol wasn't going to church, "Oh just go, it'll make you feel better. Alright, let's go eat!"
Susan is a less active that we just met. We've been trying to contact her since both the bishop and relief society president have asked us to. We finally had a brief contact with her, but she loves visits from the missionaries and was hoping we'd come over. She's also definitely a talker so it'll be easy to become her friends.
Jennifer called us and asked when she was getting baptized. Total surprise since we haven't heard from her in 2 weeks, turns out she's just been out of town so she'll be back for us to start teaching her again this week.
Jennifer (recent convert) is working on being able to go to the temple. She had the misunderstanding that you need to wait a year before receiving a recommend (you have to wait a year to be endowed, but not for a limited use recommend). She texted us at the beginning of the week asking if we could teach her a lesson and do some service for her helping her go through some clothes. Then she took us out to dinner. It's awesome that we're gaining her trust! But anyway, before we even knew she had that misunderstanding, we were discussing what to teach her in companion study and decided to teach her about temples and invite her to the music devotional this coming sunday (the monthly thing missionaries do at the temple. Really cool. One of my big responsibilities being on the music committee.). It was awesome! We focused on the fact that it is a service since she is so so service-oriented, and that she can be one to help others, even her own family, to feel and receive what she did for herself having been recently baptized. Now we're teaching her weekly, she was baptized only 3 months ago so hopefully we can take her to the temple to do baptisms soon.
Moving to the Wood Canyon Ward, not as much happened there this week but we have sooo much to do this week.
April is a less active, but she had an extreme car accident when she was 17 that should have been impossible to walk away from, but now she's here, almost 45 years old. But she suffered brain damage and has short term memory loss. She joined the church in her early 20s and wants so badly to be a fully active member, but her mental state makes it basically impossible to be consistent. I didn't understand it until I met her, and I still don't completely understand, but it's difficult to describe her. All we do is love her, and she's so easy to love. We've helped her get to church a couple times, and what she wants more than anything is to be able to partake of the Sacrament again but with the church time change it's made things that much harder. With all this though, I have an increased understanding to a small degree of the love Jesus Christ has for her and each of us. Her desire is inspiring, her testimony is unshakable, she does not deserve the struggle she has to go through because of mortality. Many opportunities I have in this life are not available to her, and as I've visited her a part of me has brought me to my knees asking Heavenly Father if she and I could switch places because I want nothing less than the best for her. I'm looking back on this paragraph realizing it's all scattered and doesn't do the situation justice, but I have not understood the power of the Atonement of our Savior and the reality of it as strongly as I have with her. Sister Phinney seconds that all the way. I'll talk more of her in other emails.
Sister Fusco could really really use some prayers. She is active, her family is not, I don't know all the details but basically she has cancer, her family (specifically one of her children and her husband/kids) are making things really hard on her, a lot of their responsibilities are falling on their shoulders and the way she puts it is that there is a lot of contention in her home. She is always always serving, and a devoted missionary, I wish I could introduce you to her. She always helps me feel encouraged to go work and she is exemplary in bearing her burdens with grace and patience.
I'm a little nervous with this coming Tuesday because I have been asked to give a training on obedience. I've given trainings before, but usually to do with teaching or key indicators or more result-driven missionary stuff we do. And with what I've expressed in past emails the nature of this zone compared to my last one. The last thing I want is for it to become a lecture from me on how self-righteous I am. I will be straightforward when it comes to the standards, especially in situations that come up, and Sister Phinney and I are getting better at it too, but I'm the only one (aside from my companion) not in leadership (I've been asked to give it alone). I am praying and fasting in preparation to really bring out the purpose of sparking the desire in other missionaries to be obedient. It's kind of like the concern I had giving a talk on mother's day, not wanting to be insensitive or stepping over my line of authority in any way, especially with my lack of experience. I hope it goes well and will let you know how it goes.
Changes are being made in the mission. Standards are more exactly stressed (yes!!!!!), transfer meetings are no longer being held, and more things we don't yet know about. I'll let you know more about that soon.
New Year's Eve was fun, we had to be in early (like we did for Halloween) so the zone got together at a church building (where the youth dance was not being held) and played basketball and frisbee. I'm getting pretty good at ultimate frisbee, and made a lot of 'touchdowns' today. I know it's not football, but I thought of Ty every time :D that's probably the closest I can come to being as awesome as him in that field (...get it?). Sister Phinney and I were the only ones to leave in time to be in by curfew. Other than that, I did go to sleep at the normal time (for the first time I can remember on new year's eve!) but you're right! I didn't miss new year's in Texas haha!
So with the time changes we are at church from 7:30am-4:30pm. Yesterday we felt pretty accomplished but also worn out. We'll get used to it though.
Ponderizing scripture: “And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen.”
Last night at dinner the family's 4 year old girl, Sadie, was excited to have the girl bishops over.
We were at Chelsea's house the other night for dinner. She's 22 and she has cancer, I don't know the details but she didn't get sick until a couple years ago. She goes to UVU though and is so fun to talk to. She's going to become an ASL interpreter! So even though she speaks English and she's hearing I'm going to see if I can sign to her on Sunday and practice. Not a lot of people talk to her since it's just her and her mom, and she has lots of restrictions because of her health. But she does not let that get to her, we had a really enjoyable night with them.
OK hope you have an absotively posolutely fantabularistic week! Love ya!

- Sister Shumway