(EMAIL SENT DECEMBER 21, 2015)
MERRY CHRISTMAS friends and fam! Cannot believe that this will be my last skype with you before I come home … time has flown by way too fast here! We are stoked for this incredible Christmas time because everyone has such a desire to hear more of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are contacting EVERYONE we meet, are sharing the video "Ha Nacido un Salvador", prepping for our Christmas Day caroling, and also on Christmas Eve night we are going to the Plaza or Centro here in Talara and singing songs as a zone! Should be a busy Christmas!!!
So you know you are new to an area when you don’t even spell the name right. I AM CURRENTLY IN TALARA ... with an “R”. Ha … sorry about that! But man I love this place. Every day I walk out and see the beach in the lower part of Talara. Many of our areas are covered in beach sand so we trudge around in the sand most of the day … AND I LOVE IT! We actually went to the beach today for our P-day and then played soccer along the shoreline.
Also, I failed to mention that I am an Hermana Lider (Sister Leader). I take care of about four companionships of hermanas in our mission, go on splits with them, help them in their areas, and work with the zone leaders and president to make sure we are all working efficiently as a mission! It is wonderful, but man I feel so inadequate. It is my turn to be an example and teach these incredible sisters about this marvelous work. I sure hope I do it right … but man it will be so fun too! This week we will have a leadership counsel with President and the other leaders.
Well, I am still getting to know Talara! Our area is HUGE and at times I am not sure where I am at, but so far I love it! We are starting from scratch in this area because they left ALL of their investigators before I got here. It has been hard because so far we don’t have many investigators, but I know they will come! We are knocking A LOT of doors, which is fun because we get to share this message with many people.
One of my first days here we found a cute family that had apparently listened to the missionaries some time ago. The kids are the most interested, a cute teen named Alma (15 years old) and her darling little brother Nahum (8 years old). Nahum is a little fireball that knows A LOT about Jesus Christ and is probably one of the most spiritual little kids I have met. He LOVES our message and wanted to come to church with his older sister this last week but they went out of town for the holidays. But we are excited to start teaching them. They are still newbies but they seem great! And they are so sweet and invited us to lunch right after the lesson. It shocked my comp because they never wanted to listen to us before. Looks like a miracle!
But overall, I am loving my area. Talara is beautiful and it is not as hot as my other areas which is heavenly. We are excited to share this incredible message with the people of Talara this week, and I know we will see miracles!
I hope you all have the most incredible Christmas! Share this message with everyone you know! It is so needed right now.
I know our Savior lived, died, and was resurrected for every one of us. I know he lives now, and loves us! I know this is his gospel, and it is the most incredible message in the world. It brings true happiness!
LOVE YOU ALL!! And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Talk to you on the 25th!
XOXO, Hermana Shumway
PS – Dad a little kid thought you were a spy because you went to England for two years. Cute right?
PSS – Sweet little Nahum said that the thing he hopes most for in his family is Noah’s Ark ... which doesn't make any sense. Love him!
Lots of pictures of our P-day on the beach … it is so beautiful here!!!
My heart will always be in Peru ...
Such a beautiful place
Another angle of the coastline
Missionary life is just the greatest!
Here is a picture of my room here in Talara
My new companion is awesome ... I love Hermana Valencia!!!
Having fun with the other missionaries
Picture with our President (in the back middle) and his cute wife (in the front in the aqua) during our leadership training