Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Dear Momma and Daddy,

Did you watch the "Hastening the Work" devotional yesterday?? It was incredible! If you were unable to watch it, WATCH IT! It is amazing, every member and every missionary needs to see it! We are so blessed to have a Prophet of God and His Apostles on the earth today! Isn't that an amazing reality?? I love telling people about our Prophet!

This week we had Specialized Training with our Zone in Huntington, West Virginia. President and Sister Pitt and the Assistants came and taught us for 7 hours about how we can improve our planning and teaching. Our mission is recomitted to creating a vision, goal, and plan for our individual areas and for each investigator we have. 

We had a little "oopsie" with our car. Sister Ostler was driving. We were turning left from the highway onto a very steep holler called Mullins Hill. We did not realize how steep the road was, and when Sister Ostler punched the gas to cross the oncoming traffic, we literally slammed into the steep road! It felt like we hit a wall! We were only going about 10 mph, but we were thrown forward (thank goodness for seat belts!) and our stomaches felt like they fell out of our toes! It hurt so bad! We had horrible stomach aches for the next 24 hours!

 It was a hilarious experience until we had to take it to the dealership and call the mission office. We weren't laughing by then. The front, bottom of the bumper is very scratched up, and one of the bracketts that holds the radiator in place was very bent. It came to a total of $1,700 in damage.... oops... It was an expensive memory!  We are supposed to be going back this Wednesday to follow up with the less active who lives at the end of that holler, we will take the turn at an angle this time.

Our mission has set a new goal to teach 17 lessons every week. It is very difficult for us to do that in Pikeville! So we have received instruction to teach the members if we can't get enough lessons with our investigators. Sister Ostler and I made a sign up sheet called "FHE with the Sisters." Now every Monday night we go to a members home and teach them one of the lessons for Family Night. It is great because they feel like they don't have to plan a Family Night lesson, we have the opportunity to get to know the members much better, and eventually the members will invite their friends to join them for Family Night, where the missionaries just happen to be teaching about the Restoration. We are excited, and the families love it! 

We are focusing on continually discovering new ways to find people. Our Branch is so small here that every member has been asked for referrrals by the missionaries, and they have no more left! They feel like they have already given all the names they can think of to the missionaries. We don't want to seem like a nusance to the members, so we are finding new ways to find investigators through them! It has been lots of fun so far!

On Friday Our District Leader, Elder Turner, and his companion Elder Stout came to our area to do a blitz with us. They are both fantastic missionaries! We tackled a few neighborhoods and followed up with some referrals. We also did some ITLing (invite to learn) in the park, I love that! I love just going up to people and talking to them,. The park is the perfect place to do that. We were able to get 5 new investigators and 6 potentials in just a couple hours! The Elders' favorite ITL approach is to walk up to someone and ask, "Can I give you a picture of Jesus?" Who is going to say no to that?! People can always say no if you ask to give them a card ( or other pass along cards) but nobody can say they don't have time for a picture of Jesus! Everyone here is Baptist, so everyone loves Jesus Christ; it is a good way to begin a conversation with someone.

I am trying so hard every day to become the absolute best missionary I can become! I have learned that in order to become the best person and missionary I can become, I must serve the peoplel around me.  It is not easy, but I definitely know that the Lord is teaching me humility and patience! I love being a servant of the Lord, and although I am not perfect in any way, I know that He is trusting me and strengthening me so that I can do His will and feel His influence as I obey with exactness and press forward in faith.

Sister Ostler and I have faith that miracles will happen in this little tiny town of Pikeville, we just have to have the faith and diligence and obedience to bring them. It is such an exciting adventure, I love every minute of missionary work. It has only been a month and I feel like the time is going by way too fast! It is such a blessing to feel the Lord's influence and love in everything we do. This gospel is amazing, it truly does bless families and lives, I love being a missionary!!!
Sister Shumway

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