Monday, February 29, 2016


Shumway Crew,

Well … this is it. This is officially my last email and I have so many thoughts going on in my head I hope I can clearly explain how I feel at this moment in time.

For the last 18 months I have served my Heavenly Father in the Peru Piura Mission. I still remember when I received my call and opened up the envelope in the backyard of my house ... and could not for the life of me pronounce the name. I imagined I was going to Machu Picchu or something like that and would be eating Mexican food for the following 18 months. After getting to Peru I realized that this was not the case. 

I landed in this beautiful desert scared to death and having no idea what I was getting into. I received my first comp, a latina, and could not speak to her whatsoever so I acted out everything. I stumbled over my words, trying to get to know the people who surrounded me … and literally felt alone and lost. But ... it is crazy how a land that was so unfamiliar and scary to me has come to be my home ... and is now filled with many people who I love and cherish. Learning to communicate with these loving people has been the hardest thing I have done in my life, but I can testify that the Gift of Tongues is real!

As the months have flown by, I have been through many ups and downs. I have laughed, cried, been rejected too many times to count, and have prayed harder than I ever have in my entire life. But now I have come to realize that a mission is meant to shape and form us into the sons and daughters of God that Heavenly Fathers sees us as. Every challenge has taught me something and formed me into the person I am today. A mission is not easy … but EVERY DAY is worth it!

More than anything I have come to have a firm testimony of this gospel. I know it is true and now want to share it with EVERY person I see! It blesses and changes lives. And, it is the only thing that will bring us true joy in our life. I have seen it change people and, more than anything, it has changed me. It is incredible how the first convert of your mission comes to be … YOUR OWN SELF.

I will never forget coming home sunburned in my sand covered, broken-down shoes, and practically falling asleep at my bedside while saying my prayers. It is the most rewarding feeling ever … and it is incredible the energy Heavenly Father gives us to get up the following day bright and early at 6:30am and then do it all over again. Although being obedient was sometimes tricky, you learn that Heavenly Father blesses those who are faithful and willing to obey.

I love this work … WITH ALL MY HEART!!! I cannot believe I only have a week more of it and hope to enjoy every last minute. It has changed me for the better. Currently, we have a few investigators that plan to get baptized by the end of March. Although I won’t be present, I know that they are making the most important and rewarding decision in the world. Kati, Angelo, and Lukas are those investigators … please keep them in your prayers as they take that big step. I have loved ending this special time in the land of Talara. It has come to be one of my most favorite areas. I am sure going to miss these incredible people!

To end, I only want to say:

Soy Hermana Shumway. I have served a mission for 18 months, had 13 transfers, 11 companions, and 4 areas. I have been a representative of my Savior Jesus Christ and have pinned his name to my shirt every day for the last 547 days. I have laughed, cried, and been rejected more times than I can count. I have come to understand that my Heavenly Father loves me and knows me personally. I now understand the healing power of the atonement and know without a doubt that my Savior Jesus Christ lives. I also know, without a doubt, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and restored Christ's church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to the earth. I know he translated the Book of Mormon, a book that powerfully testifies of our Savior. I know that God answers prayers and that he never leaves us alone. I can now say, boldly and confidently, that this church is true. And it is the only true church on the earth!!!

I love you all and thank you for all your support and prayers!

Hasta ver,

XOXO, Hermana Shumway

Getting ready for the beach ... this is how we do it

It is always one of our favorite places to visit

I love how unique it is here

United in work and play

Finding our zen moment ... hahaha

My comp is just the greatest ... I will miss her a lot

Perfect way to end the mission

Pretty good leaping pic ...love the shadow!

I love it here!!!

My friend Leslye got baptized ... she has been listening to the missionaries for two years


Preaching the gospel with my pal Maryuri!

El Libro de Mormon ... these are my people and this is my second home

 Zone Pic

Sisters Pic

My two pals - Hermana Parks and Hermana Glunt

Kids having fun with kids

My comp ... I will miss her so much

Prez y wife

Pic with the Assistants ... gotta take it seriously

Another pic with my pals the assistants ... this one shows more of our true selves

Look who showed up at the door to sell his lobsters!

Had to take a pic #PeruMoment

A random contact (the two teens in the back) wanted a pic with us!

This gives you a glimpse of what I looked like each and every day ... our pals (Richardson, Leslye, and Isaac) just happened to catch us in action while contacting someone in the street ... such a privilege to share our message of the restored gospel

Monday, February 22, 2016


Shumway Crew,

To start … YOU ARE KIDDING ME RIGHT??!!! SO PROUD OF YOU MCKAY!! You are just the coolest kid with your acceptance into BYU and possibly a kajillion scholarships from UofU. Tough decision to make but I know that both schools are INCREDIBLE! You just keep blowing me away champ ... CONGRATS! Oh ... and also HAPPY BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK LOVEY!!! I will bring you home something from Peru … yeah! I hope it is a good one! THE BIG 18!!! 

The question mark key does not work in this sweet little computer so sorry about that.

Gee Whiz Facts -

1. A little kid, in all seriousness, came up to us in the street and asked us if we could take out her blood. Apparently she thinks we do that as missionaries. 

2. A little girl asked how long it takes to get to Hermana Parks house from my house. Hermana Parks told her it takes about 12 hours. The little girl then happily said, “Oh perfect, then you can travel by donkey!” #OhHowILovePeru

3. People think that cough drops are caramels here in Peru. Who knew!

Alrighty … so this week we were jam packed with activities. First ... we had SUPER great intercambios with Hermana Dorado and Hermana Richan. They are both probably the sweetest people I have ever met. I helped Hermana Dorado out in her area and Hermana Parks stayed with Hermana Richan in ours. 

Also we had a Hermanas Training this last week with ALL of the Hermanas de la Mision. I led the meeting and it was fun to be present with all of the incredible sisters. We started the meeting singing “As Sisters in Zion” and many were brought to tears. The spirit was so strong and it was such a testimony to me that this is the work of the Lord. After that a few hermanas shared a few special topics with everyone and my cute comp was included. She explained Como Comenzar a Bautizar and we showed an example to all of the hermanas of how to teach it. It was so fun! Also, a few friends of Hermana Rasmussen came to visit and shared their powerful testimonies with us. I just wish I could help you feel what I felt during this meeting … but the spirit was SO STRONG. I don’t have a doubt in my mind that this church is true. By the end of the meeting I just felt overwhelmed with emotions and during the closing mission hymn I started to cry. It just hit me that I only have a few more weeks of this incredible, precious time as a missionary and I couldn’t contain my emotions. I love this work.

Some great news is Angelo and Lucas came to church!! It was a bummer that Kati, their mom, couldn’t come, but her sons did! And they liked it! Lucas was pumped that he received Jello in primary and Angelo has set a date to play soccer with the young men. Great right!! We actually had a pretty special lesson with them this last week. Angelo has not seemed that interested in our message lately so last week we prepared a lesson specifically for him, focusing on a story from the Book of Mormon. We started out the lesson asking them if they had read their scriptures, Kati said yes (she is in 1 Nephi 7) and Angelo said no. We asked why and his Mom said she just has to tell us the truth. Angelo won’t read because he is worried that if he reads he has to get baptized. Apparently he thought that we were trying to force him to get baptized. We explained that our purpose is to invite others to (1) repent, and (2) to be baptized (yup, we were bold). But the most important part is we INVITE … and the person has the chance to choose whether or not to act on it. And the truth is, most don’t feel ready for those two steps, so we share the tools to help! By praying, reading scriptures, and going to church they will feel ready and prepared! We then explained in Alma 49 (what we had planned for him) about a group of Nephites that prepared themselves to fight against the Lamanites and in the end they won the war! We invited Angelo to do the same, to prepare now, and we promised that if he does so, he will be ready for baptism. That sounds a little complicated, but it was incredible how our preparation for this lesson was exactly what Angelo needed to hear. HE CAME TO CHURCH! This was a huge step for him and he is now reading his scriptures. Prayers really do get answered!

Overall, this week was a whirlwind of emotions but I don’t have enough time to explain it all. But I just had so many moments where the spirit testified of the truth of this message. 

Someone shared with me this week something really cool, “At some point in our life all of the material things will go away, and the only thing left is us and God.” So what we should all ask, if that happened today, how is your relationship with God! Love that!

Well, I have to go but I want you to know … I KNOW THIS CHURCH IS TRUE!!! It is the same church that our Savior established when he was on the earth. With a living prophet, apostles, revelation, and priesthood power. It blesses and changes lives. 

I love you all and cannot believe how fast this is going!!!

Until next week,

Hermana Shumway

P.S. Thank you family for the awesome Valentine's Day package with homemade valentines ... it was seriously the most wonderful surprise! I LOVE YOU!!!

On the way to the Hermanas Training - WE LEFT OUR APARTMENT SO EARLY!

Food from the Hermanas Training

Having lunch together

Random group selfie

Me and my comp with friends of Hermana Rasmussen


I found the beautiful Hermana Thomas

Me and Hermana Sepulveda ... somehow she knows our family

All of us hermanas together ... and President Rasmussen in the back

Intercambio with Hermana Richan and Hermana Dorado (yep ... that is a stain on my skirt... some things don't change)

Soccer training - it's a big deal here

Chilling with Hermana Maribe - she is a convert of about two months

Eating our Chalacas ... yummy!

The nasty looking fruit that tastes SO GOOD!

This little kid is my BEST FRIEND

Getting my hair done during the FHE

My favorite food here in this land ... Arroz Verde con Pollo y Papa La Wankaina

Eating lunch with Familia Eche ... LOVE THEM!

Look what we found on our way home ... just a lizard chilling on a house

Lizards make great pets

My and my pal Leslie

When we see couples hug this is what we look like ...


Monday, February 15, 2016


Shumway Crew,

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Some call it "Dia de la Amistad" here in Peru ... so I guess "Happy Friendship Day!" This week FLEW BY ... and each week it seems like every week goes by faster and faster.

Gee Whiz Facts of the Week:

1. We have a major cockroach problem in our room. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE ... and without fail I kill about three huge ones a day.

2. Our best friends of the week - chalacas and ice cream from the men who drive their ice cream bicycles around.

3. Celebrated the birthday of my Talara brother Mahonri ... PERUVIAN STYLE!!! Throwing many eggs and singing the traditional Happy Birthday Song (dudududu... "Cumpleanos feliz, te deseamos a ti, cumpleanos feliz, te deseamos a ti!!!")

What we learned this last week: we are here to find Los Escogidos. After finding so many new investigators last week we realized that although they loved to listen to our message, it was not their time to progress. So we spent the week leaving and searching for new investigators. It was a pretty rough week for us ... meaning no one came to church, many of the new investigators we found last week are nowhere to be found, no one has accepted a baptismal date, and we have gotten rejected way too many times to count these last few days. And then in our weekly planning we broke down a bit from everything that has happened this week. It was definitely was a humbling week for us ... but you want to know the crazy thing? After every trial it was a like a random miracle popped out of nowhere. At first we didn't recognize them because we were so frustrated with the trails, but as we looked back, we could see that Heavenly Father shows his hand in this work. 

Here are a few examples:

1. A less-active we have never met showed up to our ward council just because he felt like it was time to come back to the church. He is from our area and we have been praying to find less-actives. 

2. After a day of MANY rejections we went to a FHE with one of our less-active families and taught about missionary work. We asked them for references and they gave us seven! Most references I received in my ENTIRE MISSION!

3. As we have knocked doors this week we have been constantly rejected ... but a few miracles came from it. We found a lady who had listened to missionaries before but lost contact with them and would love to learn more. Another new investigators came from knocking about 20 doors and the last doors we knocked we found a lady invited us in without even hearing who we were or what we had to says ... and now she is a new investigator who is very interested.

4. Hermana Kati has recognized that ever since she started listening to us she has seen miracles in her own family ... her husband found a job, she began to be very successful in her work, and feels such a peace that wasn't there before. They came to the Noche Misional and she is so close to accepting a baptismal date. She says she knows its true.

So although it was not the best week for us we are going to keep on going ... and then when it gets really hard ... TO LOOK FOR THE MIRACLES. They are not always something drastic or huge, but they are always there. So I guess we can apply that to our daily life as well. When the trials come we have two decisions ... we can either get down and feel bad or we can look at all the many blessing we do and then just keep on keeping on. We are excited for a new week and I know it will bring GREAT THINGS! 

We are teaching many different people but at this point are focusing on who truly is ready for baptism. Or what we call LOS ESCOGIDOS. Kati and her son Lucas are the closest to being baptized and they feel it is true! She is just waiting for an answer from Heavenly Father, telling her this is it. Last lesson she promised to pray for a baptismal date tonight, and we will see what she says the Tuesday when we visit her. 

Talara is progressing little by little ... I KNOW this next week will be a better week! 

When life seems hard remember to LOOK for the miracles and blessing you have in your life. They are there ... I promise! 

Keep on keeping on and pray for my investigators!

XOXO Hermana Shumway

Happy Valentine’s Day

The "fruit man" that passes us in the streets

Eating lunch with the Familia Rosales

A lunch we ate during the week - SUPER GOOD

Ran up this mountain today with the comp

So cool to look over the city

A little relaxation to start the day

Working it!!!

Cleaning the dishes in our sink

Mahonri's Birthday (one of the sons of Familia Rosales) ... that blue bouncy ball was his birthday present from us ... figured he liked to play soccer

AND ... yes we did throw eggs at him to celebrate ... GOTTA LOVE PERU!

Eating our piononos in the street ... it is a bread with a carmelish-type filling

La Noche Misional

The ward activity

Great things are happening here

Spreading the love

They sell chickens in the street like this ... NUTS right?

Celebrating Hermana Liliana's birthday

Doing what we do

Love sharing this message of happiness

Another beautiful ending to a great day