Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Miracles Abound!

Dear Family,

Last year when I was in Charleston with Sister Herring and Sister Kitto we tracted into a woman named J____ who was very excited to learn more. Because of schedule conflicts and other circumstances we only taught her once before losing contact. She has not been contacted since then. 

On Tuesday Sister Combs and I found our way to her to home once again. Our knock on her door was greeted by her enthusiastic welcome! She HAD wondered why the missionaries stopped coming by! We had a marvelous lesson with her and she is back on track! Her story is incredible.

J_____ was in a severely abusive marriage many years ago. It seemed as though each time she was beat near to death by her husband, the "Mormon missionaries" would knock on her door the following day. Although J____ could never meet with the missionaries they always seemed to come at the right time. 

After giving birth to her son, J_____ faced some severe complications with her eyes. Over a period of two weeks following her son's birth she gradually lost her sight until she was totally blind. For forty days Judy stayed in the hospital, completely blind, surrounded by doctors who could not decipher the cause of her blindness. J_____ had a friend who worked at the hospital as a nurse. The nurse knew a doctor who "was a Mormon." J____'s friend knew a little about Priesthood blessings and she offered to arrange for J____ to receive a blessing from the LDS doctor. J____ remembers the doctor, a member of the Charleston 2nd Ward, anointing her with oil and giving her a beautiful Priesthood blessing. 

Seven days later her sight was completely restored. The doctors still have to idea how it happened. What a miracle!

J____ explained that she doesn't feel quite comfortable in any of the churches she has attended, she just feels like there is more. She said, "I have seen so many miracles in my life and I know who God is but I want to know Him better... I just don't know how." We taught J_____ about covenants and ordinances that bind us to God and enable us to KNOW how to come unto Christ and return to live with God again. She is so excited to be fully engaged in coming unto Christ through the fullness of His restored gospel!  

I know that the Lord leads His servants to His elect and prepared children because this is HIS work!

I love being a missionary. This is the work of God. It is divine and it is sacred. 

I love this work, this gospel, and I love the Lord!

Thanksgiving 2014

The Quintrell family invited us to have Thanksgiving dinner with them. Instead of baking the turkey in the oven they deep fried it in a HUGE deep fryer in the front porch! It was great! I love West Virginia!

On Monday we accompanied the Quintrell Family to the LIONS club annual "Critter Dinner." We were served Wild Boar, Antelope, Deer, Elk, and "beast" (whatever that is...). Every person in attendance was decked in camo, Cabella's gear, and handlebar mustaches. We stuck out like sore thumbs so it was a great opportunity to answer many questions! It was great!

I love being a missionary.

Sister Shumway 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Conversion Unites Families!

Dear Family,

Brother Q. was baptized and confirmed! He is so happy! The baptism was flawless and the entire program was perfect. What a great weekend!

 For eleven years Sister Q.l has prayed for her husbands heart to soften and for eleven years Brother Q.  hid in the bedroom every time the missionaries came to visit his wife. 

Eleven years is a long time. Patiently Sister Q. prayed on.

And his heart softened. 

In response to his wife's faithful prayers and years of silent pleading with the Lord, Brother Q. became curious. As he began listening to the missionaries' messages his curiosity evolved into interest. His interest began to soften his heart, and softening became conversion. He is now the newest member of the Charleston 1st Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Q. family radiated at the baptismal service! Brother Q. was collected and confident but it was clear that he was on cloud nine the entire weekend. He seemed to radiate with the Spirit as he sat by his wife and son, his arm anchored around them, in his white baptismal jumpsuit.The ordinance was flawless! It was a special moment for Sister Q. Following the baptism Brother Q.l leaned over and calmly whispered, "I feel good, I feel clean." 

Brother Q.'s confirmation the following day was just as perfect.I have never seen that man so happy! His confirmation blessing spoke highly of him as a father and repeatedly blessed him to be able to lead his family by the power of the gift of the Holy Ghost which he was receiving. It was a powerful blessing. 

Brother Q. is exuberant! Sister Q. is filled with gratitude and she is so happy! Brother Q. will receive the Aaronic Priesthood within the next few weeks and he will baptize their eight year old son. Their son often parades around their home with his personal copy of the Book of Mormon in the air, cheering, "I'm getting baptized in December! I'm getting baptized in December! Dad's gonna baptize me! Dad's gonna baptize me!" 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families because it's principles and precepts unite them. This family will travel to the Columbus Ohio temple to be sealed as a family unit for eternity. The Gospel blesses families because conversion unites them. 

I love this family.

Sister Shumway  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Elder Renlund

This week Elder Dale G. Renlund of the First Quorum of the Seventy came to the West Virginia Charleston Mission! Our mission is very large so we had a Mission Conference with the North half of the mission and the South half. Charleston is the meeting place for the North half of the mission so early morning we found ourselves at the Stake Center with over 100 other missionaries.

 When Elder and Sister Renlund arrived at the church with President and Sister Salisbury we each had the opportunity to shake his hand. When my turn came and I reached my hand out. He grasped it in both of his hands and leaned in until his face only a few inches from mine. His eyes were clear, deep, and blue. With that penetrating General Authority stare he looked deep into my eyes and didn't blink once. 

He asked, "Where is home?" And we had a brief conversation, still no blinking, and he did not break eye contact. It was a very intense moment only because the Spirit bore powerful witness that Elder Renlund is a man of God. He has been called of God to spread the gospel throughout the world. The Holy Ghost is a powerful source of truth and of divinity. 

 Elder Renlund explained that there are many different responsibilities and duties in the church. Each calling is directed by God under the Priesthood authority. Although our callings and responsibilities differ, we ALL work under the same apostolic authority. Elder Renlund's apostolic authority came by way of His ordination. 

My apostolic authority came by way of my setting apart. All of God's work is directed by the same Priesthood authority. While our duties within that apostolic authority differ, we all have the same testimony of Jesus Christ, that He is our Savior. We are all working on the same team for the same goal and for the same Savior. We do these things because we love the Lord!!  

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Companion

Dear Family,

I picked up my new companion at transfers on Thursday! She is great! Sister Combs is from St. George Utah. She is a dancer and a laugher and a cold cereal lover! She is awesome!!! We have had fun working hard this week!

Great things are happening in Charleston!  T_______ came to church for the first time, J_________ is preparing to be baptized in a couple weeks. The Lord is placing in our path marvelous people who have questions that are answered only through the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ! We love this life!

It is a rich honor and blessing to be in the service of the Lord. He could do this work without us if He wanted to, but He doesn't. He wants us to be part of it and He wants us to feel the joy and the eternal conversion that comes from being in His service. 

This is His work, therefore, we must let Him be part of it. If we attempt to do this work on our own we will find ourselves teaching to people's minds, not to their spirits. Only the Holy Ghost can communicate to the spirits (or to the hearts) of God's children.

 If we attempt to this His work on our own we may accomplish a few meager intellectual conversions, which are not eternal conversions. As we do His work under His direction, by way of the Holy Ghost, we have the sacred opportunity to help God's children receive true, eternal conversion because the Holy Ghost is the true teacher and testifier of truth. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). We come to know God and Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost. This is the Lord's work! We want to do it His way because only His will can result in eternal joy and conversion.

 I love the Lord and I love His work!


Sister Shumway 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall in West Virginia

Squirrel...It tastes like chicken!

The Quintrells fed us squirrel last week! Don't worry, it didn't come from the side of the road.... it was... yummy...  ..... but not really... 

However, the experience was great! A lot of the bones are too tiny to pick out so you just have to eat them... it's like eating really tough dark chicken meat.... with some crunch to it.

 Haha, it's all part of this cultural experience!