Monday, August 29, 2016

letter from Sister Shumway - August 29, 2016

Had a few good lessons with Sydney (investigator), her mom gave her permission to go to seminary! She just has to keep her grades up and I think she's off to a good start so far. Staying strong, we have an appointment with her this week.

Paige (recent convert from a less-active family) is doing pretty good too. She's still on a spiritual high from efy a couple weeks ago. But we also found out she speaks some spanish and wants to come on splits with us to help cover some spanish appointments! It'll be fun to involve her in the missionary work.

Haven't heard a lot from Carrie, we had another lesson with her about a week and a half ago and it went well, it always goes better when we have a member with us. But she hasn't been very responsive to our texts and we haven't seen her at church so we'll work on tracking her back down.

I don't remember how much I explained but Hermana Smith is our new companion that has been with us these past 2 weeks because her companion went home due to some health issues and there are no other spanish sisters she can go with. She's great and has been through a lot, and she's such a dedicated missionary with a strong spirit and testimony, and we'll be with her this week until the transfer ends. We've been doing A LOT of work in the spanish ward because there's just sooo much going on there. Which is great. She and her sister Alissa though could really really use some prayers. President Clark gave permission to work out for Alissa (who's going to school for spanish and is really good at it) to come be Hermana Smith's companion for the last 2 weeks of the transfer (that's how desperate she's been to be in full-time spanish) and we had the plane ticket and everything all ready to go, and at the last moment Alissa broke down and decided not to come, but not only that, she told Hermana Smith she doesn't care about any of their family and no longer wants anything to do with the Church. They knew her testimony was struggling, but had no idea it was so bad. And this is a really strong family, Hermana Smith's dad is the stake president where they live. Hermana Smith has reached out but hasn't heard from Alissa since. It amazes me that she's reacted by diving into the work and stayed so strong anyway. It also makes me even more grateful for the support and spiritual strength in my own family.

Had dinner with the Olzak's (Paige's family) and breakfast scheduled for this week. So fun, they're an awesome family. We think Paige's mom is really close to coming to church and we're going to see if Paige can help us out with that.

The Galbraith's (part-member family) had us over for dessert. The wife (not a member) asked us what we have learned from our missions, which was pretty cool. We had a long discussion about life and such and dessert was really good. They'll be out of town for a while but I'm glad we're establishing a better relationship with them over time.

For young women's we had a Ramen party. So fun. We just had a ramen buffet with pork, edamame, onion, pot-stickers, and a bunch of other stuff you could put on it. We had a blast and love getting to know the young women. Paige came too!

Sister Atchley and I gave an awesome training in zone training meeting. President Clark was there too, I'm so glad we were prepared haha. Our training included a practice (most trainings include role-plays of fake scenarios teaching investigators or contacting people on the streets etc.) different than most. It was on Teaching for Conversion, so we had the missionaries get in groups of 3 and teach each other the restoration as themselves, not as investigators or people that had never heard of it before. It was neat because at first they didn't understand and just started reciting what they knew about it, but after a discussion and a re-practice there was more testimony being born, gospel discussion, and expressed love for the doctrines of the restored gospel. The Spirit was there and felt awesome. We then talked about applying this to our lives when teaching anyone, whether they know the message of the restoration or not, and invited each of them to individually at some point pray and write down what difference the restoration of the gospel makes to them personally.

As far as the missionary life goes, I've been on so many exchanges it's a little crazy. like about 6 in two weeks? Something like that. So almost every other day I've had a different companion or been in a different area. Such is mission life, half the time you don't know where you'll end up or what'll happen.

We also had to do this big assessment of each sister in the zone on where we suggest them to be for this upcoming transfer and any changes that should/shouldn't happen. So time was taken by that and half of our suggestions have changed in the past couple days because of how things have changes. So who knows what'll happen this next transfer? The Lord knows what He's doing.

Still involved in a lot of music stuff, got musical numbers every week and we have numbers planned for the next few months through the end of the year. Which is weird because planning further than that won't involve me much. But got a lot done there.

Zone Conference was great. The focus was on our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and how central that is to our calling. We also had the new presidency introduced - Bishop Hobbins is one of the counselors! I'm pretty sure I mentioned him a few times when I was serving in Live Oak Canyon last fall. Also the bishop of the Laguna Beach ward. These are both men that if you knew just a little of who they were (because they're both famous throughout the mission) you'd think the second coming is about to happen because we're about to see greater things than miracles in the work here. I'm so excited!

We also had zone 24's, where the entire zone gets together and switches companions for a day. I was with Sister Atchley, she's so cool. She's also a convert of about two and a half years or so. One of my favorite people in the mission, I hope I can be her companion someday.

Hermana Smith taught me this, Landon and Ty can translate it for you - Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero por que a bendecido mi vida y mi familia, y testifica JesuCristo. Still working on memorizing it, but when you have to choose limited words you choose the most important to you.

Funny story - in ward council the bishop asked why the BYU game was not on the agenda in the upcoming events we have going on.

Love you! Found this awesome verse in my reading today for you - Moroni 8:3 "I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end."

- Sister Shumway

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