Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas 2013

Dear Family,
Christmas as a missionary is INCREDIBLE! This week has been marvelous!
Two days after Christmas President Pitt called us and asked us to pack up all of our things and come to Charleston the next day! Whew! We had 24 hours to pack everything, take care of all of our appointments, area book, apartment needs, area needs and information for the new set of Sisters who will be coming in next week. President said that the Lord needed us in different areas, and that we would double out and next week new Sisters would double in! Exciting! Sister Williams and I were very sad to leave Fairmont, that area has been marvelous! We are so thankful for the rich experiences we had there and we are grateful for the incredible people. We witness many miracles and blessings in Fairmont as we diligently participated in the hastening of the Lord's work in that specific area. The new Sisters are so lucky! They will love it!

Sister Williams and I drove to Charleston the next morning and had lunch with President and Sister Pitt and the Charleston Sisters, Sister Herring and Sister Kitto (who are amazing!). Sister Williams was transferred somewhere else and I will be staying in Charleston with the South Hills Sisters for a week. At Transfers on Thursday I will be transferred to Roanoke Virginia where I will be serving with Sister Wahlin as an STL (Sister Training Leader). Saying goodbye to Sister Williams was SO DIFFICULT! We cried like little babies, but that is one of the greatest aspects of a mission! You build beautiful relationships with people (companions, investigators, members, ect.) and when you leave you finally understand how much you truly care about them. Sister Williams has had a profound impact on my life and she has taught me so much, but I know that she will continue to serve and bless those who she is serving! 

Sister Herring and Sister Kitto are hilarious - the three of us are out of control! It has been great fun to serve with them in Charleston! We have encountered great success every moment of every day!  On Saturday we knocked on a shabby looking door near our house. In immediate response to our knock, the curtains on the window were swished apart by a pair of tiny hands, and two small faces curiously peeked out at us. A few moments later a woman opened the door. She expressed that it was not a good time, but agreed to let us come back. 

The next day we knocked on her door again. This time she opened it up and told us that her family was very sick and unable to meet with us at that time. However, she expressed her sincere and almost desperate desire to meet with us. Years ago she had met with missionaries briefly, but today she had been praying for God to show that He still cares about her family. She plead with us to come back at a later time when the sickness had left their home. We prayed with her and promised we would return. Although I will not be here when the Sisters return, I am thankful for the evidence that the Lord DOES care about each person individually. Heavenly Father does answer prayers, and it is a blessing to experience and witness the truth of that.

 Thank you for all your love and support! I love you!

Sister Shumway
I had a surprise visit on my birthday! It was truly a birthday I will NEVER forget!

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