Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I love being a missionary!The MTC is such an incredible place! The spirit here is powerful and productive, it is amazing! When the Smiths dropped me off last week I was giddy and SO excited to be here! The first two days are like a hurricane - your teachers and Zone leaders throw tons of information at you! It is a little overwhelming, but it is also great to be given so much.

A day at the MTC is exhausting! But it is wonderful! We have 16 hour days that are literally packed! They do not leave even a minute open. I love it, we work as hard as we can all day, constantly going and doing, and then we collapse in our beds at night, completely exhausted - it feels amazing! We study for 6 hours every day, and we have class instruction for 8, and the rest of our day is personal study, companionship study, District daily planning, role plays, and TRC. It is amazing how much we have learned.

I love my companion! Her name is Sister Herzog, she is from Salt Lake City, and she is crazy! We are both energetic and happy all the time, and we love to laugh and tease each other. Our second day in the MTC we were called to be the STLs (Sister Training Leader) for our Zone! The STLs are equivalent to Zone Leaders, so we have quite a bit of responsibility in taking care of our zone. I am so excited to be trusted with this calling! Sister Herzog and I will also be working with the Zone Leaders to train the new Districts arriving on Wednesday. Our District has 6 Sisters and 6 Elders, and the two new Districts arriving this week have 8 Sisters, 4 Elders, and 6 Sisters, 4 Elders!

There are 2,200 missionaries at the MTC right now, and more than half are Sisters! When I arrived last Wednesday I was among 375 new Sisters, and 315 new Elders! Can you believe that!? There are more Sisters here than ever before! It is amazing to watch this work move forward with such enthusiasm!

We have an activity called TRC here. There are certain rooms in the MTC that are "front doors" to "homes" (classrooms) where people live. We are given an "address" (a room number) and a scenario, and we teach the person living there. Sometimes the person is a missionary contact, sometimes a street contact with whom we have made an appointment, or a member contact. The people that we teach in TRC are volunteers from the community. Some are members acting as investigators, and some are real investigators, but they never give their true identity away - you never break a role play!! It is so fun to feel like a real missionary and teach real people who have real questions!

 My companion and I have learned some great lessons with TRC. We were pretty confident coming into the MTC that we knew how to do missionary work. I had studied Preach My Gospel, I had done role plays with the missionaries before, I had gone tracting and taught lessons with the Sisters - I was ready to teach! But I soon realized that was an attitude of pride, and the Lord does not allow His servants and representatives to be prideful... I learned that the hard way! 

After teaching 2 lessons that were absolute fails, my companion and I just broke down in tears of frustration. Before every lesson we study, we find scriptures, we talk through a lesson plan, and we feel ready! Then we kneel down in the hallway and pray to have the Spirit with us right before we knock on the door. But we were not doing good! We felt like we were rushed, like we were talking over each other, and the Spirit was not there. We had to take a step back, REALLY humble ourselves, try to learn from our mistakes and try to decipher what the Lord was trying to tell us, and then keep trying. FINALLY we had a good lesson!! Yesterday we taught Matt. It was great! We were able to resolve his concern and he was able to feel the Spirit. Sister Herzog and I worked together and commit him to read the Book of Mormon and pray on his own to know if it is true. It was a great experience, and good lesson from Heavenly Father. 

I cannot express how much I love being here! The MTC is and amazing place! I love my District, my roommates, and especially my companion. I am so excited to get into the mission field and serve the people in West Virginia! I know that there will be trials and humbling experiences, and I am excited for them! Thank you for your support and love, a mission is a great thing! I love being part of this massive surge in missionary work; the spirit is so strong here, and the missionaries are so valiant! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

Love, Sister Shumway 

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