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Editor's Note: We are grateful that Norman Shumway who has written an autobiography has kindly agreed to share the chapter about his first mission along with pictures for a nine-part series which will run every other week. This is the second segment..

Since his first mission, Norman and wonderful wife, Luana, have served in Japan two more times. From 1996-99, Norman was president of the Okayama Mission for two years and the Hiroshima Mission for one when the Okayama Mission was closed. They have also served as the public affairs missionaries in Japan. Recently they completed another public affairs mission at the United Nations.  

Memories of my First Mission-Part 8

MISSION PRESIDENCY

            On 21 September 1957, President Andrus called me into his office. He said that the First Presidency had given permission for me to extend my mission by six months. Since he had earlier broached this idea to me, I had already garnered the support of my parents and approval of the draft board. I thanked President Andrus and moved to leave. But he had more to say. At the same time they approved my extension, the First Presidency had authorized my being called to serve as second counselor in the mission presidency. Wow! This came as a shock. I had not even entertained such an eventuality because I was now quite comfortable with my role as traveling elder and editor of mission publications. If there was to be any change in my assignment, the only job I wanted was to be a proselyting missionary again. (Picture: Standing from right to left Norman Shumway, Ira Ralph Telford, Theordore F. Welch, and sitting, Paul C. Andrus)

            My journal entry reflected my feelings upon receiving this calling:

            This evening, I went upstairs to think about my new appointment, and to work on a speech for conference. Honestly, truthfully, I feel that I donft have the qualifications for this office, but I believe that Pres. Andrus was guided in making his choice, so Ifll do all possible to serve well. Needless to say, Ifm thrilled very much. 

            President Andrus next invited Elder Theodore F. Welch into his office and called him to be first counselor. He then set us both apart, and gave us the charge to travel through the mission and promote new proselyting ideas.

            One of the first rewards of service in this new calling occurred just a month later. Elder Ezra Taft Benson (pictured to the right), then serving as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, came to Japan on official business. Of course the Church notified us in advance of his intended visit, and President Andrus planned a brief agenda for him, asking me to give him a briefing on mission publications. On the day of his visit, 27 October 1957, we got up very early to be on hand for his pre-dawn arrival. At the airport, an impressive crowd had gathered on the Tarmac, including U.S. Ambassador to Japan Douglas McArthur II, a dozen or so high-ranking Japanese officials and countless media representatives with their cameras. This group stood at the bottom of the boarding ramp which had been moved to the door of the plane, poised to be the first to greet Elder Benson. President Andrus, Elder Welch and I, not being part of the official welcoming committee, stood apart from the crowd by ourselves. When the door opened and Elder Benson appeared, he gave a cursory glance at the dignitaries and then noticed the three of us standing off to the side. Although he had not met any of us, he knew by our dress and demeanor that we were Church representatives. He immediately stopped and waved to us, smiling a friendly greeting. The official welcomers were shocked, and looked at us quizzically as if to say, gWho are those guys?h

            Elder Benson was accompanied by his wife Flora and daughters Beverly and Bonnie. During the day I acted as chauffeur for the daughters. I will never forget the stunned reaction of the officials who were greeted only secondarily.

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