Monday, September 30, 2013

End of Summer

I bet you've all been wondering about our garden. It's gotten rather big:

Our favorite thing lately is our carrots. I'm making soups and stews like crazy with these babies.

Our tomatoes are WONDERFUL, but it's starting to get cold so they're not ripening as fast. We love making salsa out of them with our vitamix. Salsa is the favorite snack in our household. Brent goes through jars in a week.

One awesome activity that Brent and I like doing is riding our bikes. There is a trail right by our house that runs all through Provo. I like it because there are no cars (still traumatized over being hit by a car last year). It's only 9 miles, so it's more of a joy ride, but we love doing it! Here's Brent in action
 Isn't it a pretty trail?? There is a river right off to the left that we stop at and cool our feet or spot fish.

This is the story of my life. Brent is much too fast for me.

Brent has told me lately that there are too many pictures of him. I told him that's because I always have the camera. So now he's making an effort to take more pictures of me. I can't say i'm too pleased about this turn of events.

I love Utah!! So so so pretty!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Called to Serve

Last night Brent and I went to my parent's home and got to watch Taylor open his mission call.

For our church, young men and women have the opportunity to serve the church for two years. They are assigned a place in the world and a language. They go there and teach the gospel to people living there.

It was really fun because my Mom had pinned up a huge world map and we all made our guesses. It was a wonderfully spiritual moment as my youngest brother Mitchell prayed, and when he mentioned how proud we were of Taylor he started chocking up...and I bawled. It was the first time that I actually realized one of my brothers and a best friend is leaving me for two years! We all wept and cheered when he read these words:

Dear Elder Shumway 

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Canada Calgary Mission. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Mandarin Chinese Language.

He barely made it through that last part he was in so much shock. We all were. Chinese is NOT an easy language, especially when you're expected to teach people in it after only knowing it for 3-4 months. But we know he can do it, just like the thousands of missionaries before him, with the help of the Lord.

I have to say I'm so thankful he's going to another country...but one with hospitals and no crazy diseases and parasites. I've been to Canada several times now, and it is a beautiful place.

I'm so proud of my brother. He has never strayed from the path to be the best person he can be. Even though he is two years younger than me, I have looked up to him as an example and cherish his input and comfort. Taylor is a very smart kid, earning himself a huge scholarship for BYU and a promising future. Taylor has always been a funny kid. He's got a clever sense of humor that can always make me grin. He's a hard worker and has done a lot of service with my dad.

He's a 6 foot 5 or 6 (he's just REALLY tall) teddy bear. I love how he never got too cool to give me hugs and say in his silly voice "Oh my big sister". When I used to live at home (and, actually, I still do this) I would go to his room and lay on his bed with him and just talk. I don't remember all that we would talk about, but I always remember feeling comfort and a sense of peace because I knew he accepted and loved me. I'm really going to miss those talks. I never had any sisters, but I think that's okay. The Lord knew what he was doing when he sent me sensitive, kind, and sweet brothers who would let me have 'girl' talks with them even if they didn't understand me.

Taylor is going to make the most incredible missionary. That doesn't mean he's going to be perfect, and I hope he knows that. I've heard it's two of the hardest years because of the trials and challenges that come along with a mission. But he will be incredible because he is so hard working, thoughtful, and most of all, Christ-like. If anything can soften the hearts of the people in Calgary and bring them into the gospel, it's my little brother. Blast. Now I need a new tissue box. Love you T!