Monday, July 21, 2014


Dear Family,

It has been a fun week!

I have gained a testimony that missionary work is FUN. If missionary work is not fun and if it is not awkward then something very large is amiss! 

"Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25). 

Joy is laughter and excitement, it's reverence and feeling the Spirit, it's tracting a holler in the rain, it's connecting and bonding with the people you teach, it's FUN. 

Last night we had a lesson with one of our investigators who has basically NO concept of who God is or of religion in general. His progress in learning about the gospel has been slow and minimal but it has been marvelous! We have had to learn how to teach the basics of the basics in the most basic way! It has been a great learning experience for us as well as him. Last night we taught Mick about the Priesthood authority, prophets, and prayer. He had read about the Priesthood in a pamphlet we left him with and he grasped the concept immediately and with excitement! 

As we sat in the living room of this humble family, deep in a West Virginia holler, I wanted nothing more than to step back and watch the scene before us. There has been a change in M______ as he has begun learning about and accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a light in his eyes that I have never seen before, and it gets brighter with every scripture that we read and every principle he learns. The Spirit was the senior companion in the lesson last night, and the Spirit was the true teacher. That was evident in M_____'s eyes and in his countenance. He is becoming a spiritual leader for his family and he is changing. 

"Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness" (Alma 27:18).

Missionary work is fun.

Have a fun week! I love you!


Sister Shumway 

EVERYONE has a wreath on their door.... YEAR ROUND. This was by far the most impressive I have seen!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pigs Feet and Prophets

Dear Family,

Yesterday we had dinner at a members house and they fed us good ol' beans and cornbread! It was great..... until we found two WHOLE ENTIRE PIGS FEET IN THE POT OF BEANS!! You would think that the pigs feet are just for flavor.... nope.... they eat those too. I stand a witness today that pig skin boiled on the hoof in a pot of beans is nasty. Brother Carman will tell you otherwise though!

My new friend M_______ has been invited to take the missionary lessons MANY times. And he has said no many times. A couple weeks ago as we were teaching him and his wife (who is an active member) we invited him to be baptized and he said yes! He had been thinking about baptism and the Spirit had been working in his heart, preparing him to finally take the lessons! Now we are teaching him with his family. He has been coming to church regularly because he WANTS to. M___  grew up with very little religious exposure so he doesn't even know the basics of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He doesn't know who Moses or Noah are, and he doesn't really know what the Godhead is or what God is like. Last night we had a lesson about prophets. Although it is a very new concept and he ate it up!  I have never seen such a enthusiasm in his eyes and I have never seen such light in his countenance! It is marvelous to witness conversion taking place in someone's heart! 

A few weeks ago we received a media referral from a member in Washington DC for a woman named A____. When we contacted her, we connected with her immediately! She was only available for a few minutes but we had a great time getting to know her and laughing hysterically in those few minutes! She expressed her sincere interest in the church because of the trials and struggles bombarding her life. Her LDS friend in DC was the only one who responded to her in her greatest time of need and she wants to know "why the Mormon people are so happy." 

We couldn't connect with A___ again for two weeks. 

We sticky noted her door,  left fun voicemails on her phone for a couple weeks and finally we heard back from her yesterday. She called us and expressed how busy her weeks have been with work but she went on to say, "I need to get with you girls this week! I have lots and lots of questions about your church. People say 'at all times bear testimony of Christ, and when necessary, use words.' Your actions have made me more interested in your church than anything I have read! When I first met you we laughed so hard! I haven't laughed that hard in months. Are you girls available on Friday? Let's get together."

A___ is incredible! Trials in mortality are difficult, they are hurtful and they are upsetting. But with an eternal perspective our eyes are open to the reality that though trials God is working miracles in our lives. As we respond in faith, trials produce progress and a closeness to our Savior, who helps us progress eternally because of the ultimate trial that He chose to take upon Himself. 

I love this work and I love the Lord!


Sister Shumway