Wednesday, October 2, 2013


We had a wonderful baptism this weekend! The E______ Family, was baptized on Saturday, September 28 ~ they are amazing! The baptismal service was fabulous, it is such a blessing to witness the joy and literal conversion that has taken place in this beautiful family. When they arrived at the church before the baptisms on Saturday, they seemed beautifully different. Their countenances were filled with joy and each of them couldn't stop smiling and laughing - they were practically radiating! They were so excited to be baptized! Since their baptism and confirmation we have seen great changes in each of them as individuals and as a family. The gospel truly does bless individuals and families as it showers us with joy and understanding of God's plan for us. 

Saturday morning, before heading to the church for the baptisms, Sister Williams and I drove deep into the mountains, weaving through orange and yellow trees on a dusty, gravel road to help some members of our ward with cane boiling on their farm. Cain boiling is a BIG DEAL. They grow sugarcane, which grows in tall, green stalks that look similar to bamboo. The stalks of cane are smashed in a home-made machine (made of various pieces of car engines), producing a thin, bright green juice which is strained three times through various strainers. 

The cane juice is then poured into a massive, rectangular pan that is plastered with clay on top of a brick oven, where the juice is boiled for hours until it turns into a thick, dark brown substance - this is molasses. They love cane boiling here! It is a deep family tradition for the family we were helping today, and is one of the greatest days of the year!

 All of the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and all other extended family and friends are invited to work all day (it is literally a 24 hour process) and enjoy the rich tradition of cane boiling. It was fun to delve into the green cane juice and be part of the family as we helped them for a couple hours. 

They kept telling us that this was true exposure to a hill billy's life! Sister Williams and I loved it!

But the greatest work to be done is missionary work! The Lord is hastening His work, and He is preparing the hearts of His children to receive this gospel.   It is a blessing beyond expression to be a missionary at this time. President Spencer W. Kimball said, “Now is the moment in the timetable of the Lord to carry the gospel farther than it has ever been carried before. … Many a person in this world is crying, knowingly and unknowingly, ‘Come over … and help us.’ He might be your neighbor. She might be your friend. He might be a relative. She might be someone you met only yesterday. But we have what they need. Let us take new courage from our studies and pray, as did Peter, ‘And now, Lord, … grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word’ (Acts 4:29).” 

God's children need the gospel! We show love for those we care about by sharing the gospel with them. Missionary work is filled with love, and is the most rewarding, enriching, and wonderful work, for it is the work of salvation!

I love you!
~ Sister Shumway

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