Tuesday, February 16, 2016

letter from Sister Shumway - Feb. 16, 2016

I told the zone leaders to mail my valentine to the boy I'm writing (most mail to/from goes through them, which is probably why I'm still waiting on the package, I thought it'd come yesterday but no worries I'll let you know monday!). They were all surprised and dramatic in reaction for a moment until they saw Casan had the same last name, so I got to laugh at their reaction. One said, "Dang, an 8-year-old has more girls sending him valentines than I do."

A few updates on the work -

We found Jennifer! We used the phone for the other ward to try to call her and she answered! She apologized for ignoring us but does want to see us, especially since she feels more comfortable after talking to us, you know since we helped her feel that it wasn't just a baptism date we were after and she blew it. So hopefully we will see her in a couple days.

Julie (less-active) took us out for dinner the other night, she wanted to take us to a place called Texas BBQ (she couldn't find a place called Canadian maple syrup I guess). It was a lot of fun, I have to say the BBQ wasn't all that great (I didn't say that, and it's just because I'm used to really really good BBQ) but it was still pretty good especially since it's been so long since I've had BBQ.

Tracting is proving to actually work pretty well here, I think The Lord is blessing us because He knows our options are very limited with no car. But we picked up 2 new investigators, Roze and Nasrene, mother and daughter. They are Muslim and they live on the Bishop's street, but they welcomed us in and listened to the first lesson and took a copy of The Book of Mormon. We've found that Muslims are almost always willing to listen to our message, but are usually just wanting to find out what we believe and not really act on it. But hey, that's a whole lot more than most people. We are going back this week.

Carol (potential investigator) and Kirk had us over for dinner the other night. They are very much Revelation 22:18-19 Christians and believe strongly in the Bible, but Carol actually talked to us on the street before we tried contacting her and she gave us our number if we ever needed anything. So we texted her when we didn't have a dinner appointment signed up. That night was really enjoyable, they asked a lot of questions about missionary life and such and we talked about their family, especially their 3 sons all YSA age. We asked to share a message with them though, and turned to the Bible in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22, and related it to Moroni 7:41 which they were totally open to us sharing. We had a great discussion and they sent us home with leftovers, so we will bring back the container with something fun in it as an excuse to see them again. They also know 3 or 4 Mormon families living on their street. I feel like the concern about adding to the Bible like it says in Revelation is not their concern. Obviously they are comfortable with their beliefs and church and life etc., so if they are searching for more they don't realize it yet as far as it seems, but we could easily give them logical reasons as to why that statement in Revelation doesn't discount The Book of Mormon. I'm pretty sure Revelation was not the last book of scripture written chronologically, but it happens to be ordered that way in the compilation of all the books in the Bible. And that same phrase is used throughout the Bible (Deuteronomy? or one of the books of Moses?) so that would discount most of the Bible itself. And of course we believe the things that The Book of Mormon teaches to testify of Christ and draw individuals and families closer to God, that the fruits of The Book of Mormon along with the Bible are right and good. But explaining these things aren't going to help them come to an understanding of the Restoration and the context of the Plan of Salvation. They're just arguments that show we're only trying to convince them of our opinions. So I don't really know yet, but we're going to work with the members they know and also get some invites extended and such, and we'll see where it goes.

Rod and Kathy are such great people, so courteous and fun to talk to. We stopped by Sunday since we hadn't heard from them to bring a small cake shaped into a heart for valentine's day. They loved it and visited with us for a while, and they said to plan on Thursday night unless they call for us to come earlier. It was neat because in the conversation, Rod said he was excited for us to come back (we only had a few minutes then and they were in the middle of working in the yard before losing daylight) because he said, "I really do want to know about life after death and our purpose here, you know?" I thought that was so neat! Because he wonders about these things when we're not there, and it's the same question he asked at the end of the first lesson, leading perfectly to the second. And they've both been reading The Book of Mormon, Kathy has tons of questions and says she is really looking forward to discussing them with us.

This is going to make you jealous Aubrey - the day before your sweet 16, David Archuleta is coming to present a devotional for the relief society sisters in this stake. We are inviting all the people we can, especially less actives, so we'll definitely be there.

We had a regional broadcast given be Elder Renlund on Sunday in place of Sacrament meeting, shown to the stakes throughout Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. It was really really good. I heard they were going to publish his talk on LDS.org? But I haven't seen it yet. I took notes but my favorite was Elder Renlund's talk. If it doesn't show up this week on the webiste I'll email my notes next week (especially since that'll give me time to try to apply them this week).

Ponderizing scripture: 1 Nephi 14:14 "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory." (p.s. look at footnote c at D&C 38:38! whoa!).

Love ya, miss ya, see ya!

- Sister Shumway

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