Monday, September 12, 2016

letter from Sister Shumway - Sept. 12, 2016

Wow what a week. And a pretty good start to this transfer. Sister Wimmer and I were joined by Sister Hawkins, fresh out of the MTC for not even a week yet. So this week has been really good. Now that we're not longer helping to cover Spanish we've been able to just go to work and it's been AWESOME. Even if not a whole lot has changed, or no big instance happened, it's been great to focus everything on the work in our area.

Sister Hawkins is great too. She is from Montana, a town I've never heard of, and she's going to school for Media Arts so she can be an actress for disney. She's the first missionary in her family, her dad is a convert and she has an older brother and a younger sister. She's way excited to be here.

We taught Carrie this week again, probably the best lesson she's had. We started reading the Book of Mormon with her since she hasn't on her own and she LOVED it. Absolutely loved it. We just started the first few verses of 1 Nephi 1 and she was asking questions and wanting explanations and it was great. At the end she asked if we could do it again the next day. We planned on it, but that next morning she canceled on us and didn't come to church yesterday. But she wants to meet with us again this week. The Elders are going to start teaching her son.

We met Tracy the other night. She was in our area book as a former investigator and so we stopped by. She welcomed us in and we talked with her a while before sharing a scripture with her. We were opening the Book of Mormon when she stopped us and insisted we only read from the Bible. But she was sweet and open with us. She also has diabetic ulcers on her feet so it's really tough for her to walk and she's home all day so we'll go by again.

We had lunch with Stacy Olzak and her daughter Paige right after email last tuesday. They took us to P.F. Chang's, and it was really good. Stacy opened up more about why she personally doesn't come to church anymore, most of it was the classic reasons about imperfect people. That and her husband respects peoples' beliefs but doesn't like organized religion. So we're going over soon to introduce our new companion and continue to befriend her and work with people in the ward to reach out to her.

Finally met Jackie! After 3 months of trying her. She was a former investigator given to us by the ward mission leader when we first came to this area. We have an appointment with her and her mom tonight to get to know them better and hopefully start teaching them regularly.

We also had dinner with the Keawekane family. Brother K is hilarious and so much fun! But Sister K is really quiet, and recently she's been struggling, especially with self-worth and just being happy. She plays the piano by ear really well so at dinner we asked her to play for us and overall we had a really good time. Their son, John, also came and sat in on the lesson, and he hasn't been to church in a really long time. Later that night we saw Brother K at the church and he thanked us for coming and explained these things to us that we didn't know before. So we're going over to see them more often and help them feel the Spirit more. It's awesome to get feedback from people who see the difference you help make.

Those are the highlights, love and miss you all so much!

- Sister Shumway


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