Saturday, January 11, 2014


Amazing week!!! On Wednesday night Sister Herring, Sister Kitto and I picked up the two new Sisters at the mission office and gave them their first experience in the mission field! The five of us went to dinner at a member's home and left them with a great message, then we split up and went to different teaching appointments, tracted a little bit, and taught quite a few lessons. The new Sisters are incredible! They are prepared to be here and they are armed with testimonies and faith. We learned much from them and we are thankful they are here - they will bless the West Virginia Charleston Mission greatly! 

Thursday morning found us at the Charleston church building loading suit cases into a truck and loading ourselves into the transfer vans. Off to Virginia we went! The drive was long but there is never a dull moment with 14 missionaries packed into a “Shum-bus” transfer van (I felt like I was with the family on a road trip to Utah!). We arrived in Roanoke Virginia late Thursday evening, and my wonderful companion, Sister Wahlin (Wa-leen), was there to greet me! She is amazing! I'm pretty sure we never stop laughing - missionary work is FUN!

We put ourselves to work right away in Roanoke! This area is remarkable - I have never met so many nice people in my life! Everyone is willing to talk with us, and many are eager to learn more! In the few days that I have been here we have witnessed countless miracles. The Spirit has been a more powerful part of our work this week than it ever has been before. The Lord loves us so much and He makes it clear every day! 

Last Monday 12 year old K____ was baptized. Her Mom is a less active member of the Church, (she can't attend church because of health complications), but she has a powerful testimony. K____ started meeting with the missionaries three weeks ago and immediately wanted to be baptized! She has an amazing testimony of the gospel and she is a solid young woman! She has been sharing the gospel with her friend, S____ who is also 12. S____ has come to church twice  and she often sits in on the lessons. On Friday we began teaching K____ the new member lessons, and S_____ was there. We asked S_____ why she liked coming to church, and she responded, "I feel happier the rest of the week when I come to church. It feels good there." We asked her if she would like to take the lessons and be baptized, and her enthusiastic "YES!" nearly blew us through the roof! What an amazing girl!

However, because S____ is not 18 yet we need parental permission to teach her. Yesterday we kept thinking of her and we wanted to get parental permission ASAP. We didn't know exactly where she lives, but we knew the general area. So we began tracting. And we tracted. And we found some great people to teach! And we tracted. And we found some more great people who were interested! And we tracted. Finally, as we reached the end of a street, we decided to knock on the last two doors and then head to some appointments. Behind the second to last door a man told us that he was not interested. At the last door a very kind man said the same thing. As we were walking back up the road, we suddenly heard our names being tossed into the rainy wind. We turned and saw S____ and her Mom waving their hands and bobbing their heads out the door - it was the second to last door! We hurried back and they let us into their cozy home. S____'s Dad answered the door and had not recognized us as "S_____'s missionaries." Her Mom immediately told us that she would love for us to teach her daughter, and that she would be thrilled if S____ was baptized! She said "If S_____ wants to become a Mormon then I trust that it will be good for her and I will support her." Amazing! S_____'s Mom said she did not want to be a Mormon, but she would like to sit in on a few of the lessons to learn more about S____'s beliefs. We were beyond excited!

They are an amazing family, and I know that the gospel will bless them! S____ and K_____ are ideal examples of those who are prepared to receive the gospel. In Alma 16:16 it says that "The Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, ore to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them." That is still happening. The Lord prepares His children and then He gives us the easy job: to find them! And He is even willing to lead us to them. Keep your hearts and your minds open and I know He will lead you to those who are prepared to receive you and His gospel. We witness it every day and I know that it is true!

I love you!

Sister Shumway 

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