Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Exchanges with Sister Shumway

First of all, we feel very watched out for where we live.  Our landlord lives above us with his son and below us lives this guy who is an amazing artist, and this huge 25-year-old kid. They are all really great people and it honestly makes me feel safe knowing we live in the same apartment as all these big men.  We definitely have backup.

So the other day I got to go on exchanges with Sister Shumway. She is amazing! It was probably the best exchange I have ever gone on. But the exchange started off super 
sketchy . . . So we were walking near our house at the very end of the night. We were walking down a little alley at the back of our house and this guy is walking towards us, so in true missionary style, we strike up a conversation with him and start telling him about the gospel. We've been talking to this dude for like three minutes or so, when a cop car comes and pulls down the alley and parks next to us.

     The cop rolls down his window, and calls the man we're talking to by name and says, "Are you bothering these girls? I heard you were down at so-and-so's kicking in the fence. Is that true?" 
     The guy we’re talking to is like, “No, no way man,” and starts walking away, leaving us with the cop. 
     As the man walks away, the cop says to him, "I'll be down to talk to you more later." 
     And then the cop turns to us and says, "That man is a registered sex offender. He just got out of jail for rape. Where are you girls from? You need to be careful out here." We proceed to tell him who we are and what we're doing. He's like, "I really respect what you girls are doing but you really gotta be careful out here, especially when it's starting to get dark." Then he points to the house across the street and he says, those kids are all heroin addicts in there," and then points to another house and he says, "We busted that house for being a meth lab a little earlier this summer."   #WelcomeToMorgantown   We talked to that cop for quite a while (during the conversation he told us that we looked young, which was another reason to be careful,) but he turned out to be a GREAT guy and we got his number and everything so we can go back and teach him more!

So... that part of the exchange was kind of sketchy... but the next day we had a really cool experience. That morning we had written an inspired lesson plan for a person we didn't know yet, but wanted to find, just like we did last week. Later that night we go out tracting to try and find this woman. We knock on quite a few doors and then we come to this little white house with a dirt bike on the porch. We knock, and a middle aged man answers, then this blonde woman comes to the door. She is SO nice and invites us in and asks, "Are y'all Jehovah Witnesses?" We tell her no, we're Mormons (happens all the time,) and she takes us back to meet her mom who is bed-bound. Anyway, we get talking to this woman and her mother and we're saying how we want to come back and teach them more, and the blonde woman, S-------, just starts crying. We kind of look at her and she says, "I don't know why I'm crying, this happens every time I go to church and I don't know why. I just am so glad you girls came." I couldn't help but give her a hug and Sister Shumway explained how she always cries when she feels the spirit too.

Long story short... she wants us back, and she called us "rays of sunshine." The spirit was so strong and it's such an amazing family. We have an appointment to go back and see them this Tuesday and I CAN NOT WAIT!!!! Also, we got to teach R---- again this week with his wife. It was an amazing lesson and they should be coming to church next week! I am SO excited about them. Everything with them has just been so perfect, and God's hand is so clearly in every aspect of us meeting them and who they are and where this is all going! I am so excited! This Sunday we also got to go to a BBQ for the daughter of our investigators from New York! It was so fun. It's so wonderful to teach families! I have never taught so many families or seen so much growth in an area as I have here in Morgantown. The thing is, I can see how it's directly related to our obedience as a companionship and where we put our heart, mind, and strength.

Dinner with our Italian senior couple
A great place to get a pepperoni roll, a West Virginia specialty

Monday, August 4, 2014

Calling Down Miracles

My first Boba!

Our zone is trying this new thing, where we pray and ask for Heavenly Father’s guidance on who he wants us to find. So Sister Long and I try it. We pray and ask for guidance, and then we come together to try to decide who we need to find. We sit there in awkward silence for a while and I just keep thinking that...we need to find a black guy. There are very few black people in West Virginia, so I kind of put that out of my head and keep trying to decide what we need to be looking for.

After a while Sister Long says. . . "I don't think he's going be white." SUPER cool when you have a companion and you can verify what you are each thinking and feeling. So then we get excited and we decide that we won't find him knocking doors...we'll just talk to him somewhere, and that he's going to be really searching and have a lot of questions. Well anyway, we make our little lesson plan for this man we've never met before and we go to work. A day or two passed, and we still hadn't found him, but we continued to pray for him. Then, one night, in the very last hour of the workday, we are walking down the street and see this black guy working on his car. We say hello and he is really friendly and says hello back and we start a conversation about his car. We get talking, and the conversation turns to us being missionaries. We give him our card and he's super interested and we offer him a Book of Mormon and then realize that we had given our last one out. Yeah, it sounds ridiculous right? But it's showing us that we really can call down miracles! And the thing is, we don't ask that we'll find this person, we ask what kind of person Heavenly Father already has for us to find, and try to align our will with his. I sort of thought it was a weird idea at first, until I really understood it. But anyway, we tell him we will bring him a Book of Mormon!

Two days later we bring him one while he's outside with his wife and his neighbor. So we give it to him and he talks about how he's from Kenya and I bring up that my mom lived in Kenya, and for some reason I had this weird urge to tell him about Wairimu, and so I mention her, and he says, "Yes! That is a Kenyan name!" in his sweet accent! He asked us tons of crazy questions that I've never been asked before but he was so cool and so interested! I'm so exited about him! We also found this great family who just moved here from New York, and this young couple who are going to WVU and the guy loves guns and the girl is agnostic. . .so we have gained a super diverse teaching pool here and it’s great!

On our way to meet the new mission president.  Yes, that's Sister Reed, my MTC companion!