Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Guess what - we had an awesome lesson with Sh___ this past week. She is really getting baptized on the 5th of January!!! We are so excited. We went over there and taught her a simple lesson about obeying the civil law (its a required lesson) and once we wrapped that up we had planned to talk a little about baptism with her. We have been teaching her for about 2 and a half months now and she is so ready to be baptized but we didn't want to force her into it. I mean we have asked her many times before to be baptized but she was still living with Ch___ at the time. But now he is gone so she is ready so we decided to bring baptism up again. (Baptisms are precious here, didnt want her to get scared and drop us.) We planned to just ask her one simple question: What do you think about the whole baptism thing now? And guess what? She said that she WANTS to get baptized and that she knows its true with all her heart. The coolest thing. We felt the Spirit so strong. So we set asked her what day and we all decided on two weeks. So yeah thats going to be happening on January 5th. So pumped for her.

We have had to drop some of our other baptismal dates because its so hard to see some people. Its unreal how terrible people's jobs are here. Like 12 hour work days plus transportation. We knocked on this investigator's door Cl___ yesterday. And he opened the door just shirtless because he had been sleeping. He said why did you guys come so late? Ha it was like 7:15 when we came. Late for him because he probably has work at like 3 in the morning.  One of our investigators L__M__ headed back to Columbia to see her family. L___, the 12 year old, is doing well but she is still feeling pressured but super active in the Young Womens program. We have been teaching N___ a lot too, he is just a little lazy. Ha. We have a few more too that we have been seeing.

We had my first all mission conference on Friday up in Morristown chapel. All 240 of us there. Man, I just love this mission so much. We have the coolest happiest mission in the world. President Jeppson has done some work to whip this mission to shape the last three years. We have a super obedient mission which creates many miracles here in Jersey and many super happy missionaries. Honestly, I could not have asked for a more perfect mission. We are just living the life here in NJ. I feel so blessed. I know that this was the exact place I needed to be called. Well mission conference was awesome. Super fun and social and we had some great speakers. Ha mainly just Alex Boye though!!! He was the best and sang like a champion. He is a super good performer and very funny as well. It was a miracle he got out here though. I heard Utah had some rough weather and they shut down the airport for a few hours. But he sang for us and then gave us this super good talk about having BIG visions for the future. Expect great things to happen. Make crazy big goals and then pray and ask God for help and He will help!!! Then he read us this thing about being a confident person and confident missionary. It was honestly the most mind opening talk I have probably ever heard. Ridiculously good. So blessed to hear it. Then the Morristown ward gave us this delicious Christmas dinner.

We all got our Christmas gifts at the end of the conference. It was like the happiest thing in the world. Kind of like our missionary Christmas. Every single missionary got their Christmas Presents in boxes from home, and letters, and stockings that somebody made for us all. Everybody was just so happy. Thanks for sending me my package. Cant wait to open it.

So I decided that our mission is pretty much the just the Hispanic hood of New York City. It is a crazy place. But I am so pumped to be here. We have some dirty places like Newark and pretty much everything up North but then there are places like Morristown which is super rich. Nice mixture of everything. Aw its so perfect here. I love it.

Huge heat wave yesterday. I think it was about 65-70 yesterday. Ha some weird weather here.

We had a ward Christmas party on Saturday night. All the kids did a Nativity and the missionaries sang. It was the cutest thing. Ha ill see if I can send the video.

Merry Christmas family!!! So happy to be here in Jersey. I am so pumped to call on Wednesday.
I love you tons, Sorry Sam I cant be there at home with you for Christmas. Just you mom and dad this year but it will be so fun. No worries. I love you bud. 
Elder Sumsion

Okay I dont know if these were all Christmas presents or not but I stocked them up and going to open them on Christmas. Thank you: Family, Aldens, Peers, Williams, Bishop and Rose Gay, Quinns, and Alders for the packages and presents. Cant wait to open them.

I have also received tons of letters too which I am planning to open Christmas
Thank you all so much, I can feel your love and support. Thank you!!

Elder Sumsion, Alex Boye, Elder Brimley
Bro. Boye is Pres. Jeppson's son-in-law

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Week 15 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 21 Mission

Such a busy week here in Perth Amboy…

First off HAPPY BIRTHDAY mom!!!! Crazy that it is already December and your birthday. The time truly is flying... I hope you had a great day.

I was so happy to hear that we were able to go to the temple on your birthday! What a blessing. Funny story actually. We were supposed to get their at 8 AM but we were late because we had to take some busy trains into NYC. So we got their late and missed the session. Then they let us to proxy baptisms and confirmations for a while. We went with the whole zone so their was about 20 of us missionaries there and we all got to baptize and confirm and everything. It was funny we would go into the font and do about five names and then switch places and do another five names. Felt kind of like Joseph Smith being baptized. Way fun. So we all prepared then for the 11:00 session. I was all in white sitting in the waiting chapel and this super cool Elder, Elder Hughes, called to me to come out to the hall and he showed me a picture and said do you know who this is?? Ha it was a picture of him and Alexis (Ben's sister that lives in NYC)  that they just took on the street. He had left with two other missionaries to grab a gyro and then had ran into Lex! So I really just was in shock and quickly changed everything, locked my locker and took the key and ran out of the temple and there she was! Ha we just ran and hugged each other. We went outside and got to talk for about 10 min then we had to go. So cool though. Crazy that everything really happened perfectly that she was there to see Elder Hughes on the street and that Elder Hughes knew me. I had actually been talking with him earlier that day and we were just joking around and he said "we are going to see your sister today for sure." He was just joking but it was so insane. It was pretty special. I told President in an email and we will see what he says... But yeah cool. But that still does not mean that anybody else can come and see me. She is the only exception!!! Ha. Plus, listen to this, a French person walked into our session right at the end and so we had to see the old movie do to translation problems!!! Ha I will have wait until June!!

Last night we did a big Christmas Spanish devotional in Union City Chapel for all the Spanish members/investigators/recent converts. It was all 130 of us Spanish missionaries and we sang a bunch of Christmas songs and carols. It was way fun. We got to sleep in the zone leaders in the apartment in Union City. Its fun because my companion is an x-zone leader and kinda old in the mission so he knows almost all the missionaries and he always has fun connections. Union City is crazy. I guess its the most densely populated city in the United States. They are just houses and buildings everywhere. Its a rush but I love it.

The weather here finally turned into real winter. It snowed about 3-4 inches on Saturday and the whole town shut down. Ha it was kind of funny. They almost cancelled church because of the weather and all the schools got out, ha something that never ever happens in Park City. It was funny. But it really feels like winter now. Nice and icy cold. Love it.

So S___ and Ch___ broke up and split up this past week. Yeah sounds sad but it is actually a good thing. She is so ready to be baptized but she couldn't because of law of chastity problems. So now she is ready. She really just deserves someone better than him. She has had a rough life. ..... The Gospel has changed her life though. She really understands it. She understands what obedience is all about. She told us, while we were teaching obedience one day, that she believes that laws are set by God for us to be happy. When we break those laws/ commandments we are choosing to distance ourselves form God and, therefore, happiness... YES! S___ that is exactly right. So cool.
We are still teaching Ch--- as well. He is just hard to get to. But really the Gospel and The Book of Mormon have changed his life. When we met him he was so stubborn and said he didn't believe in God. Now he is on Alma 3 last time we checked and he just loves reading the book of Mormon. The words and the Spirit have hit him so strong. He has broken down in tears in front of us a few times. The Spirit really was changed him. This guy has gone from a hard core gang life to reading the Book of Mormon and changing his life.

This work has been absolutely the best out here. God has blessed me so much with such an amazing family, body , and testimony. And now he has blessed me with an amazing companion/trainer, an amazing mission, amazing branch, and everything. I get all the luxuries of being in the US but all the culture of the Hispanic world. I feel so blessed!!! This life truly is a happy life and I can base it all on just living the Gospel of Jesus Christ and doing what God would have me do and it is all possible through His Son, Jesus Christ.

 I am loving life. Thank you so much family for your support and love. I know you miss me ( At least I hope so.... Ha) but this work out here needs me now. Heavenly Father needs me here and give it all I've got. I have had the greatest impressions all week that everything is going to work out! I read a talk a few weeks ago and it said: The Plan of Salvation is not a level playing field! It favors you and it favors your happiness.

The church is true,
With love,
Elder Sumsion
Elder Sumsion emailed last week and said he got to go to the temple on Thursday
so Alexis (his sister who lives there) sort of went on a "jog" about the same time.
Yahoo!  It was a great birthday present for me to get this text! 

NYC temple

Gyros with Elder Brimley

Snow in Perth Amboy, NJ

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Week 14 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 20 Mission

 So happy to hear that Park City is still holding strong with some snow and cold weather. Ha the mountains sound like a dream to me. This past week we drove to Warren for Elder Brimley's dentist appointment. Its like on top of this little hill that the people here call a 'mountain.' Super funny.
We got some good old Jersey snow yesterday. Finally feels like Christmas time. It came just in time for that awesome Christmas devotional last night. We got to the church late to watch it because we were in this lesson with a new investigators Sandra. But we missed President Monson's talk because we though it was going to be at the end like usual. But no worries. Next year we will be there on time! Ha.
This last week Elder Brimley and I, with the help of the 1st counselor in the branch, organized a Family Home Evening at the church. We were expecting like 3 families but probably 45 people showed up. It was awesome. We taught a good lesson about eternal marriage and temples. We watched this church temple movie and then read The Family, A Proclamation to the World. After one of the coolest ward members organized some games. She set up and we played musical chairs and some other crazy games. Then we ended with some awesome mexican food of tomales and arroz con leche. It was super successful so we are doing it again tomorrow on Tuesday for some reason. I am super excited. They said they might make a rule that you have to bring a friend or you can't come. Ha
So members here have been a little slow to give out referrals and we have been working tons with referrals so it has been a little tough to find new investigators. So we took it upon ourselves to do some good old finding through our own efforts, or in other words: tracting. Ha my companion was so against it. My companion has been out for about 18 months and he said that he has always had so much work that he has hardly knocked a door on his mission. Usually here in Jersey we have enough work with just getting referrals and finding at church, but when that fails we have to do some knocking doors. So we made a goal to do it this week. After all our plans fail, we would knock. So he doubted we would have much success but the second house we knocked they let us in in a second. We have taught them 2 times since then. Ha my comp was mad that it had worked that easily but happy we found some new investigators.
This month's new focus for the mission is: Always remember Him. Its been super helpful. Like in the sacrament prayer, it says we have to always remember Him in order to have His spirit with us. The Holy Ghost will be with us more if we take time throughout the day to remember the sacrifice Jesus has made.It turns any moment happier when we sit back and offer prayers of thanks to God for the sacrifice of His son.
We have about 6 progressing investigators now and like 8 more non-progressing. S____ and C____ are progressing better towards baptism. Its a tough situation with them. L___ feels a little pressured to be baptized so we slowed down a little. We have been teaching this lady named L__M___ as well. She could get baptized soon she just needs to get work off on Sunday. As far as what we teach them, ha everything!!!! Everything from Preach My Gospel. PMG has everything we need. Much more success is coming soon. We have been working hard and been super obedient- miracles are unavoidable that means. So excited.
We went to the mission home the last week to an awesome breakfast party with the zone and President and Sister Jeppson. They made us delicious breakfast with french toast, apple cider, eggnog, and so much more. Super good. Then we played this fun Book of Mormon game and all won free ties (or scarves for the sisters). Then they gave a great devotional about Christmas.
Oh yeah I bought a soccer ball last week. So worth it. We have had so much fun playing. We have a little room in the apartment to juggle. I just juggle with Elder Vargas. He is pretty good. Played for Hobble Creek as a forward. So fun but we have broken three light bulbs in our apartment so we have to go buy some new ones now.
I am doing great out here. I am super warm with my coat and gloves. Thank you for sending everything. 

Guess what I get to go to NYC temple for your birthday mom! Ha Thursday is the day!  (This is the best birthday present ever!)

I love you so much.
Elder Sumsion

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 13 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 19 Mission

Hola Familia!

This week in Jersey has been absolutely mind-blowing. I so wanted to get transferred last week to go try out some more of beautiful Jersey, but now I am so glad I didn't! We are loving it and doing some great work out here in Amboy and there is a good chance I may stay another. I have been focusing a lot of charity the past few days, and wow it has opened up my mind so much. I am living at seriously such a higher potential. Me and my companion started getting along even better. We are working hard and having so much fun doing it.

I recommitted myself this last week to give this mission everything I have. Well actually give the Lord everything I have. Every once of strength. I have been reading this talk like nonstop called the fourth missionary. Its genius. It talks about letting go of your own wants and focusing your whole self in the work. It has really helped me serve with more potential and more love out here. 

Spanish has been absolutely shredding me mentally. You know how much I liked to talk when I was younger. I was a quiet kid. And even in high school, I didn't enjoy just talking that much. Out here, there is no excuse. Its is a commandment to open my mouth and talk. Not too bad at first, but then Spanish on top of that and it got tough. But I really have committed myself to learn this language. Me and my companion started talking Spanish all day when we are out proselyting. The gift of tongues only comes when you do all you can to struggle to learn the language. So we are just speaking it more and more. Its coming along well. I have no doubt that it will come with the Lord's help. I love it. Its actually kind of fun. 

Alright here it is: Thanksgiving day in NJ!!

We honestly had an awesome day for Thanksgiving. I made some Park City Peace Cakes for the apartment- courtesy of The Hopkins package. They all loved them.  The Assistants organized a 'Turkey bowl' where we got about 6 zones together and played some good old American football. It was super fun and social and actually pretty good games. There were so good players. And a couple of huge Tongans I had to defend. Ha they could stand taller than I could jump. So fun though. Its was absolutely freezing too. Probably around 30 or so. We were all pretty chilled to the core. After that we went home and did our famous weekly planning for 3 hours. Which is basically just planning for the upcoming week. Then we went to this Senior Couple's apartment for dinner with our district. Straight up American thanksgiving. Ha absolutely delicious! They had everything. mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, and pumpkin pie. Everything! So blessed. Then after we had an appointment with some Dominicans which we got fed a whole other thanksgiving. This time, it was Dominican Styled. So much food!!! Loved it. Feel blessed to be here in Jersey.

On Tuesday we were having a pretty slow day. We had been walking around for a few hours in the drizzling rain with no success. We were trying to get in contact with a few formers but nobody was home. Finally I was freezing and said a simple prayer asking Heavenly Father to help us find someone. The next house we tried, they let us in!! We just knocked and I got about halfway through: somos los misioneros de la Iglesia de Jesucristo... and they just said entre, entre. Come in, come in! So we went right in and we got to teach them a whole first lesson. Super quick answer to my prayers. Its amazing what the Lord is willing to give to those who just ask.

I love you so much family. You mean the world to me. I have never though so much about you and how grateful I am for our family. Keep up all your hard work at keeping our family strong! Come what may, and love it. The church is true, and I love it. 

Keep up all your hard work family. I know the new callings are tough. I know that sometimes the Lord's way sometime seems hard, but it is always right and will always be the happier route. Trust the Holy Ghost and the Lord's promptings.

Peace out, love you all,
Elder Sumsion


Vander Veur Family- Thank you so much for the awesome post card. Park City is lookin' fine. Thanks for the support and love. How is my man CJ doing?!

The Hopkins- Thank you for the treat-filled package. Oh wow the Park City Peace Cake mix was a huge surprise. I made them for my companion and the other two Elders we are with. They enjoyed them so much.

Amy Williams- Thank you again for the encouraging letters that you always send. They are so motivating and always get me to work harder, which is always a good thing. Thanks for the support. And all the support you give my mom.

Turkey Bowl - quick snap shot

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week 12 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 18 Mission

Stayin' in the Amboys!

So good news: I didn't get transferred!! Neither did my companion nor the two other Elders we live with. So me Elder Brimley and Elder Vargas will have live together now for three transfers! Our district is pretty much the exact same people. I was pretty 50/50 about getting transferred. I love this area and Elder Brimley has been a good trainer. But I also wanted to see the rest of Jersey and meet some new missionaries. But hey, the Lord called me here and I will give it my all. No worries. I am super pumped too because we have a few people set up for baptism as well. So happy I get to stay and see them take that next big step.

Spanish is coming along.... slowly. Ha I study it so hard everyday, and we talk Spanish during proselyting a lot. It takes a lot of work and prayer to learn a language that's for sure. I am so happy to have the opportunity and I know that when God commands, He always prepares a way. So it will be coming soon. So stoked!

We saw S___ and C___ a few times this week. I love them so much and their daughter A___ is like the happiest, smartest 2 year old I've ever seen. They are progressing, but not really toward baptism. They are kind of stuck because they need to get married first and they don't want to rush into that. Which makes since except that they have been together for the last 4 years! Ha come on we know you want to get married. We are slowly giving them a push to make something happen. Crazy how many people out here live some pretty terrible lives because they broke the Law of Chastity. After seeing how many lives have been shredded, its pretty clear how important the Law of Chastity is. Pretty easy for me to see the blessings of living it. Pretty easy to follow after seeing what I have seen...

Good news is that there is this guy who moved into the ward recently  named A____. He has actually been here for about a year. I may have mentioned him before. But he is the coolest guy. He grew up in Perth Amboy, Catholic with his family. He then joined the army and was deported to Iraq for a few years. Came back and had PTSD and some major problems. In his lowest of lows he basically remembered Jesus Christ and prayed for help to get back to church. He started searching for churches everywhere and he found things he liked in some churches and things he didn't like. He said I wish there was just one church with all the good stuff put together and no bad stuff. He found the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints through a friend and flipped out during the first lesson with the missionaries when he realized this was the church he has been looking for all his life. Then he got baptized. He has been LA for a little but recently came back and is just the coolest guy. He goes on tons of team ups with us and teaches and his testimony is so powerful. A third witness is so powerful sometimes.

This past week we wrote a letter to all the branch members in our area about missionary work. We were struggling trying to find new people to teach so we turned to the branch to see if they could help us out. In the letter we talked about how grateful we are for their service in the branch, and talked about what the baptismal covenant means to us. Then we invited them to share a letter with some of their friends and family with their testimony and thoughts of the church. We will see how it goes... Should have some great success. This is the Lord's work.

We had an area 70 come to our branch council yesterday. It was a big shock. He had a translator to help him understand. He just listened to the council meeting for a while and then at the end he spoke to us. He talked about how the Work of Salvation comes one person at a time. And the only way to preach this Gospel and really touch everyone's hearts is by the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will show us all things which we must say and do. This is the Lord's work and he will show us how to do it and how to touch everyone's heart. That goes for relief society president and YM councilor too! Just trust in Him.
The weather is getting super cold. Almost unbearable. Different coldness than Utah. This is super windy and icy cold.  We are eating Thanksgiving at a Senior Couples missionary home. Ha so not too sure how much of a Spanish twist there will be. But hey if this is just straight up good old American Thanksgiving, I wont complain :) Plus its an old couple making it, should be delicious. Ha!
How is Sammy doing? Cant stop thinking about him. I love him so much.
Thanks for all, I love you with all my heart,
Elder Sumsion

The great little family they are teaching

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 11 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 17 Mission

Como estan!!

I heard an awesome principle yesterday in church. God gives us commandments, so that he can better bless us. Just think about that. I will show you for example. God gives a simple commandment maybe pray. You follow it, are obedient, then you get blessed with help and a feeling of God's pure love. So God offers another commandment: read your scriptures. You follow it, are obedient, then you get blessed with inspiration. All the way until tithing. That was the essence of the talk I heard yesterday. BIG PROBLEM here in New Jersey. Nobody, very little amount, pay tithing. Super sad. But think God gives us the commandment of tithing. We follow it, and we get blessed with "opening the windows of heaven where there is not enough room to receive (the blessings)." So cool. The more obedient, the more blessings. So very cool. Ha maybe confusing, but interesting.

So this is my LAST week of training coming up. Week 12 of the 12 week program. Ha I have been gone for a few months and I'm almost a 'real' missionary. 12 week program has been great. Every new missionary has to go through with it. Tons of videos, studying, and the best: role plays!!!! Ha they are the worst, but I love them. Crazy how much I have learned from every singe role play. Its basically just practicing for our investigators. One person pretends to be an investigator and the other teaching, then rotate. Hard but worth it. So yeah, we don't really know what is going to happen next week. May get transferred, may stay. Its about 50/50 stay or go.

We had interviews with President last friday! Wow he is just the most inspirational guy ever. I love him. He went through and interviewed all 250 missionaries the last two weeks. Sounds like some hard work. He said to me that Elder Brimley is one of the missions best missionaries. I am super grateful. We have been working hard and getting great success.

Thank you so so so much for sending me my sweats, and some warm work out clothes, and the hat. Much needed. ....
We have actually been eating a lot better too. The members, I don't know why, have been feeding us less amounts of food. So sweet prayers answered! ...
We went on another exchange last week, which means switching companions for a day. My companion is District Leader so he has to go on a lot of exchanges, which means I have to as well. They are super fun. So far I been on 8 in just 11 weeks! Awesome. Last Friday I went with Elder Shepard. He is newer than me, so I was kind of in charge of talking all day. My Spanish had its first real test. We were on our own. Two new missionaries with no idea what we were doing yet, and we couldn't speak! Ha but it actually turned out to be one if the best days of my mission so far. I really had to step up to the plate with everything, especially finding, and talking. I was praying so much. Heavenly Father loves to bless us, especially when we ask.

Having a great time out here serving the Lord. Loved Elder Drew Harris' email a few week ago. About forgetting about the praise of man, and just focus on what God needs of you. Serve wherever God calls.

Read. Pray. Church.
Love you,
Elder Sumsion

Exchange with Elder Sheppard. Under The freeway.
Livin the good (hood) life!!!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Week 10 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 16 Mission

Hello Family!!!

So sorry I didn't send out an email yesterday. Totally drove all the way to the library and ,you were right, it was closed.
Crazy good week here in Perth Amboy. But man, is it getting cold up here in the NE. Leaving the grocery store yesterday, this women made mention its going to snow the nest day. Sure enough I experienced my first New Jersey snow this morning!! So pumped, but its so cold. None of it really stuck to the ground either. But hey it was definitely snowing. Havent gotten that package yet, mom. Should be getting here soon. I think the mission home has it. I should get it sometime this week. Until then... I will survive. Ha no Im okay. But really the humidity shoots the cold straight to my bones. Its piercing stuff.

So yesterday for P-day we totalyl did have some extra time. So we totally went and looked around the New Brunswick mall! You know how much I hate shopping, but it worked out because we were only there for about an hour. We were just looking for winter clothing and sweaters. And ties... Ha what else can a missionary shop for? Ha nothing has changed- I didnt buy anything. But it was fun to look around. Crazy music in there though. I havent heard so much rap and rock my whole mission. Ha it felt super weird to me. Missionary mode is settling in! Then we ate an awesome meal at Chipotle.  We randomely saw one of our less actives, Anthony, and he ate with us. He spend the whole time telling us of his ward stories in Iraq! Crazy stuff. Then we went to the church and played some hard core basketball. It is so fun to me now. I used to hate it, but now we play it so much that I am becoming better so I love it. Then we spent an hour grocery shopping and then about an hour writing letters. So pretty awesome day. Really nice to get some exercise.

We had an awesome week with S----- and C-----. We planned on commiting them to fast with us on Sunday. We got there and she was all for it, but he did not see how going without food and water would answer his questions. He said he could do it though, just didnt want too. Ha tough guy attitude. Well we basically ignored that fact and asked him what he was going to fast for. He finally accepted and fasted for his wife, daughter, and purpose in life. At church the next day they came and I have honestly never seen them in such a happy mood. Thanks for the prayers. They were great. They were laughing and smiling and even teasing us with thoughts of food. How good does a burger from that corner store sound right now? - C-----, ha he was loving it. We broke the fast with them and showed them how much happier they were with each other and how there was less contention.

Went to Familia Grande's house. They gave me this wicked hot pepper to eat. They said it wasnt even hot for them. I was in tears! So fun.

I am doing great. That week flew by! Cant believe it. I am learning so much. Spanish is getting better. I have been studying and praying tons! Its a little difficult because we arent fully thrown into it here. Most of our investigators are Spanish, but there are tons of English missionaries. SO at district meeting, the whole thing is English. It takes lots of good work to get it down. I have been doing well.

Love you tons,
Elder Sumsion 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 9 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 15 Mission

Perth Amboy Halloween!


Wow so much good is going on here and sounds like there has been some major changes to the stake and ward back home. So exciting! I can't believe they split up the wards again. Sad to hear the families who are leaving the legendary Snyderville Ward. Super nuts that they put Colony and Sun Peak in the ward. The Aldens and Bensons and many others are back! Sounds like Zeke's family might have gotten switched too! Super surprising news to hear that they switched everything. I will be coming home to a much different Snyderville ward. Ha! And my amazing Young Men's President Carl Richards is now the Bishop! Woah He and Bro Peers and Bro Barrett will be outstanding. They have been some truly loving and inspiring leaders to me, and they will do great in the leadership of the ward! WoooHooo!

Thanks so much for sending all the stuff for Halloween last week! We had so much candy to pass around. Luckily we only ate about 10 pieces each then we were about done. Check out the pictures I will send of everything. Such a fun Halloween out here in New Jersey. We had to be in our apartments by 6:00 PM on the 30th and 31st because it gets pretty dangerous. On the 30th they do something here called "Night of Mischief" which is something that doesn't happen in Park City or Utah I don't think. Its basically a night a pranks, where all the high schoolers and everybody pull some crazy pranks. So yeah pretty dangerous so we all had to stay inside. But we made both nights a party! On Halloween, Elder Brimley and I ordered some crazy good Chinese food for the occasion.  Mmmmm delicious. We spent basically all night playing Phase 10. It took us about 3 hours both nights to finish the game between the four of us. Elder Vargas is a boss and totally creamed us, even after all that practice I have had at home. Ha such a fun time. And yeah ate candy as we played. But we all got sick of the candy pretty fast. Didn't eat very much at all.

Guess what!!!!! We had a baptism last week! Ha okay kind of.... He was only 9, and had to meet with the missionaries, but still: it was awesome!!  I guess he was planning on getting baptized at age 8, but he was waiting for his dad to come back from Mexico to be there! Super sad, because his dad never came! So after a year of waiting Hugo and his mom decided to have him be baptized now. So yeah once someone turns 9, it is considered a convert baptism and they have to receive all the missionary lessons. So we have been teaching him almost everyday the last 9 days and we finished about all of the missionary lessons with him and he was baptized last Saturday. The 1st Counselor did the actual baptizing. So pretty neat experience. He is an awesome kid and had a super strong desire to get baptized. It was nice to go through the whole process and be able to teach him everything. But yeah counted I guess as a convert baptism so Perth Amboy had its first convert baptism for the last couple months.

Nelson's baptism fell through. He just isn't 100% committed yet, but hey, thats alright. We are still working with him tons. S___ and Ch___ had a pretty interesting week. Full of ups and downs. We showed up to teach them on Tuesday and things were not looking good. There is always just tons of people in their house because they live in her parents house with her two brothers and all of her brother's crazy 20 year old friends are always coming in and out. We moved the lesson upstairs because either her brother was playing FiFA 2014 or her dad was watching the latest Hispanic reality TV show. Can't remember but its usually one or the other. So we were sitting in their daughter's playroom basically in the attic and we were all just sitting on the ground. But basically they told us they wanted to split up, they had been fighting tons and tons. .....We were super sad and didn't know what to do at first, but the Spirit provided and we told them they need to pray TOGETHER. Even if they were super mad. We left and the next morning we got a text that said that they did it and it went really well, with a smiley face. So yeah things are going much better with them. Its crazy to see how small things like praying and reading the scriptures change people. It truly was a miracle. When things are going rough and no matter how much we sometimes don't want to pray or read the scriptures, reading and praying is exactly what we need to do!

We are getting along well. We are one of the last four-men apartments in the mission. There is only 3 others we know of!! President Jeppson is trying to get rid of them, because they truly are less productive. I have been in a four man my whole mission and MTC, so I didn't really know the difference until my exchange last night. 

I went on almost a 40 hour exchange with my great Zone Leader Elder Bell from Saturday night until now (Monday morning). It was awesome. We focused so much in their little apartment and just had the happiest day on Sunday. He is a super great guy. He is from Bountiful. We get along super well and for that, it was probably some of the happiest days of my mission yet. We even got to do the zone numbers for the week of baptisms, lessons taught, referrals, and other stuff and send them to the assistants to the President. It was a great opportunity. I got to go to an English ward yesterday. East Brunswick English Ward. I hadn't been in an English ward since home! And guess what? This ward has over ONE MILLION people in its boundaries!!!! The Bishop, in his testimony, said they had lots of missionary work to do. Ha!

Sorry wow this seems long. Great week. Love you tons!!!
Your Son,
Elder Sumsion

Elder Shepard, Sumsion, Vargas, Brimley

Changing Colors

The Halloween candy stash (thank you friends for sending)

New 9 year old Hugo's baptism - He really wanted to be baptized!
PS - My satchel bag is working great, and I have gotten tons of compliments for it. Great idea mom!! I love it.  (Timbuk2.com Classic Messenger Bag size: small ballistic nylon black / polybond black / ballistic nylon black)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 8 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 14 Mission

Loving Life in Perth Amboy


It is sooo good to hear from you. I am glad everything is going great at home. Glad to hear that you haven't forgotten about me and Chloe and are still thinking of us around the house. Ha things are going great for all of us. Soon we will all be together again and even happier than before. Just live the Gospel and trust in God and all things will work out! I know it!

There have been so many great things going on here in Perth Amboy the last week! I am seriously just loving it. Its getting colder so we rush to get inside homes now to teach. They said it gets absolutely freezing here because of the humidity. Crazy! So not ready yet. You know i love the snow and winter, but its different when there aren't mountains or skiing around. Its not too bad yet. I still sleep fine, not freezing yet. Our apartment is actually super nice. We have full AC and Heater. Its just cold when we get outside. ha not bad yet. Just a windy 50 degrees.

We had zone conference last Wednesday!! Probably one of the most inspiring meetings. Super fun to finally see other missionaries in this mission. The only ones I have seen are the trainees, trainers, and the ones from my zone. Zone conference is 3 zones put together. Basically it is a bunch of training and talks and food and social time with other missionaries. President and Sister Jeppson are absolutely brilliant. When President talked the whole room shook and we all got chills down our spines. No doubt he will be an apostle someday. Ha And then Sister Jeppson is the sweetest, nicest person ever. She always is smiling and singing songs when she talks to us. She always changes the words to a primary songs to something to do with what she is talking about. I love it. There is a perfect balance between them. They are the best. Super good talks about trusting in the Lord everyday and in every decision. He knows perfectly what is best for us, so why not trust Him? So good.

Baptism this upcoming week!!!! Ha hold your horses. We got a call from President Zapata (branch President) and he told us to go visit this women because her son just turned nine. His name is H___ and he is awesome. Sad story. His dad left them and went back to Mexico, and now they live with two other families I think with the same story. Mom is strong but considered inactive because she literally works 15 hours a day so she can't make it to church. The ONLY time they see each other is in the morning before school. The children practically put themselves to bed. He had an older sister who comes to church every week. She is 14. Kinda leads the family when her mom isn't home. But yeah we have been teaching him and his baptism is Saturday.

Went on another exchange last week with Elder Nava. He is natively from Mexico so it was nice to practice my Spanish with him. My accent is still a little (a lot) gringo. But I am working on it tons. Anything can happen when you pray and ask and then get to work on it. So we taught this awesome lesson to the women who had cancer. Randomly we got a call from the other Elders that this lady, N____, needed a blessing. We stopped by and she was waiting for us on the street. We went into her house, which was basically the basement of an other house. The room was like 4 in about my head. We sat down and were talking to her, but there was just people everywhere walking in and out of the room we were in. When we were ready to teach she called all of them in and they sat down. So we got to give a first lessons to these 5 people, no idea who they were. The Spirit was strong and we testified strongly. A few were really interested so we are going to see them later this week.  We gave her a blessing and then left. It felt like a dream because everything happened so suddenly. The Lord is blessing us tons.

C&S are doing well. Taught them last week law of chastity and that they needed to get married or separate before they got baptized. S____ was pretty bumbed. We were stoked though because we saw that she really wanted to get baptized. So we are working with them. Basically C___ wants to get married to S___, and S___ doesn't trust him because of his past. Don't know what exactly, but C___ was a straight up gangster in his past. He has bullet wounds and three knife stab wounds. ....... Its super crazy because he is sooooo different know. He still is pretty tough, but he has changed his life so much. His little daughter and Sheila mean so much to him. He is accepting so much, but still cant decide if he believes in God... We are working on it. S____ on the other hand would get baptized tomorrow if she could.

So much other awesome stuff this week, just like every week. Just not the time to explain them all... Ha I will explain everything in detail when I am home... Ha. (This is a joke thanks to Elder Tempest who wrote home that he was busy and told his parents he'd tell them about it when he got home - I told him he cannot do that to us!).

Last week I got to go up to Newark for the first time since the airport to watch Stake Conference.  Super awesome place. So many people and tall buildings. Kind of like NYC, just a lot filthier. Not going to lie... I felt super good up there in Newark. I really had a huge sense of peace when I was there. ...

Oh yeah BTW Check out the Newark Stake Center Chapel...!!!!! Oh my, the nicest chapel I have ever seen! It has underground parking. I heard it is the most expensive chapel the church has built IN THE WORLD!!! Absolutely beautiful. look it up if you can.

The work is going great. I love you all so much,

Your son,
Elder Sumsion
I couldn't find a picture of the Newark stake center but here is an article...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 7 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 13 Mission

Hola Familia!

Happy Birthday dad! So glad to hear that you got to spend time with the family and ride your bike. Sounds like it couldn't have been more perfect!
Crazy good week in Perth Amboy. First transfer just ended last week and so we had transfer conference last tuesday. I was super hoping I would stay with Elder Brimley here in Perth Amboy, and to my relief, I didn't get transferred!!!! Woohoo! So stoked! Another 6 weeks in Amboy! Really I love this place.  Elder Ramirez left and Elder Vargas got a calling to be a trainer! So we got a new missionary, Elder Vargas' trainee, living with us. His name is Elder Shepard. It was nice to have a change of mood in the apartment with a new face.

Me and Elder Brimley are getting along super well! We are laughing and talking a lot more now. I think that I am really starting to get used to this missionary life and my true self is coming out. Its way fun. I am loving every second of it and we are doing well by keeping ourselves laughing and smiling.

With being trained, there comes plenty of times where I have made mistakes and just completely failed. But Ive been doing my best to laugh things off. Its so much easier this way and it doesn't weigh me down. Because honestly some of the things I fail at, I know will become funny stories to tell later. Some great advice by Sister Murray: Why wait and laugh at dumb things that you did, laugh at them now!! SO true. I am learning so much. Becoming discouraged weakens your faith- PMG! So I try not to get discouraged.

This week we have been walking tons and tons from one appointment to the next. Its becoming less intense for my body though. I am getting used to it. This past week we had to drop four of our baptismal dates because people arent progressing. Ha if they only just did the things that we invite them to do, they would know of a surity the truthfulness of what we teach. Its that simple.

Ch___ last week was getting super into the lessons. He has started to sit in and listen. Last friday we taught them about the Plan of Salvation. Sh___ accepts almost anything, he on the other hand was questioning every point we made. Ha its crazy the questions he comes up with. Something about: "how he doesnt want to go to heaven if God forgives Hitler instead of punishing Hitler, and all the other people like him are there and so Hitler can enter into His kingdom, so he wonders why would he would want to be in a God's kingdom where Hitler is? Then he said: If I was God, I would be a just God and there would be no mercy!"   Ha no idea what he was trying to say... But I'm glad to see that he is progressing and at least interested.

He has billions of questions like this. But we are trying to help him see that there is still so much to learn. he is mainly concerned that people can not change. He thinks everything we say is our opinion. No, Ch___ this is God's opinion. He is right and perfect. So instead of trying to answer all his q's, we are gonig to focus next lesson on the Book of Mormon and how he can read it and them pray to know it these things are true. That one question: Is the Book of Mormon true, will answer every other question and opposition. He will be good.

Really I want with all my heart for these two to get baptized. They already know like half the ward because they are a member referral. Everyone loves them and wants to go on team ups with them.

So much fun out here! Crazy that there has already been a transfer. I am loving it.

BTW: IPADS next APRIL!!!! HA- no idea. NYC missionaries already got them.

Love you all so much,
Your son,
Elder Sumsion


 Shoutouts: (I recieved all these this past week, they were holding some at the mission home)

Eisenbarths- thank you so much for the awesome support from your family. I loved the tennis balls you sent! So excited play with some fresh ones. You are the best! Glad to hear Adam is enjoying college!

Valerie Cannon- Thank you for that super detailed letter. Crazy to hear that PC was voted as number 1! Thanks for the photo of the new iphone update. Loved it. You are always so generous.

Aunt Alisa Sumsion- I was super happy to hear from you! The letter you sent touched my heart so much. You are such an amazing example to me. Keep it up.

Butters Family/ young women- So happy to get that letter from you! Thanks for thinking about me. Oh yeah: the jokes were perfect!

Peers Family- You sent the most needed package ever! The goodies and candy are being used well. I and the apartment enjoyed them tons. We are saving a lot for Halloween party night!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 6 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 12 Mission


Sounds like things are going awesome at home. Oh I just love hearing about all the great things that are going on. I love hearing about all the normal family and Park City things that are going on. Dad- way cool that you are a teacher's quorum advisor. You will do great things there. They will need you tons. I love what you said about unity and bonding. Its so true about teaching in unity out here as missionaries. And so great that you are opening up a new office. Sounds smart and super interesting. Keep me posted about it all. Glad to hear that you are all riding bikes still. Thanks for the pictures, it looks beautiful like usual. Love it. Mom-thanks for sharing that cool story in relief society about changing your lesson. That is exactly what preach my gospel says about planning and then changing the lesson according to the Spirit. That's what I have learned out here. We spend hours and hours of planning and then in the heat of the moment, we have to be willing to throw all our plans away and follow the Spirit. Way cool. Ohh so glad to hear that things are great and 'normal' (in a GOOD way) at home. So glad I have such amazing parents and so blessed to grow up in Park City.

Oh I have to make an awesome shoutout to Elder Kip Quilter. What a stud! So stoked that he is on a mission right now. LOVED how he didn't tell anybody. Ha way to do things in his own way! He is going to be amazing out there. Definitely a great missionary and example to all of us.

AND So happy for my man Brock Deluca! Cant wait to see where he is going. He will be the best missionary wherever he goes! Really, with his awesome life story and experiences and change, he will be a better missionary than any of us out here. SO stoked!

So speaking of the yellow leaves of Park City, the Garden state has been doing great this week. I still haven't seen much of the garden part of 'garden state', just the 'state' part. Ha love it. This week has been one of the best weeks of my mission so far. We are doing awesome. The Lord is pouring so many blessings upon us this past week. I want to touch on a few.

First off we finally got to reach 22 lessons this week. Oh wow we have been working so hard for it. The people here are so acceptive, well at least to a first visit! HA

Yesterday six of our investigators made it to church. We started out with one, but then right after Sacrament I looked around and saw five others!!!! This has been one of our only weeks here where any of the people we have been teaching have came to church. It was a miracle. We talked to them after and we are hoping they all make it again next week. Its so important for them to come to church so they can hear other witnesses and feel the Spirit. It was fast and testimony meeting too, so they loved hearing the members and seeing their feelings as they testified.

Food wise- the blessings have not stopped. Actually they are accelerated. We are getting fed soooooo much. Ha I love it, but its hard. Yesterday we ate this amazing Peruvian dish with the Less active. We have a huge thing of rice, chicken, ceviche, and potatoes with the weird yellow sauce. SO GOOD. but we had been fasting so our stomachs were soo small. We were so full as we left. Then about 15 min later we walked into our investigator's house, Andres y Marisol, and they had a huge meal prepared for us. A huge plate of chicken and rice, and a Mexican fruit salad. I was honestly clenching my fists, because of how full I was. And I just had to keep eating as they then brought out a piece cake for us. So close to throwing up. Ha.  BTW one awesome realization I was called to Jersey: the Hispanics here LOVE soda. Ha I was loving it at first so much. But one day, when they brought out soda one morning for breakfast, I realized things were going too far. Ha

** So the best thing of the week so far... we got an awesome member referral named Sh___ and Ch___. We went and contacted them the first day and just knocked on their door. She let us in and we just talk to her about the Gospel and her life. She was in tears by the middle of it. Everything she was saying, we had an answer to. She kept saying: "I have just been looking for something more in my life"  "I am just looking for a hole to fill, looking for that peace"  " I just want what's best for my daughter and family." HA PERFECT: we have the answers to all that!!!! So awesome. Most prepared person I have met on my mission. Truly testifies that God is preparing people for us to teach and preparing us to teach them. All the hard work the last 12 weeks all for this beautiful family! All for them. It was truly a miracle to see. Next her "husband" (not really, just living together, but he wants to get married) walks in and we start talking to him. He is the opposite, almost an atheist. He has had a rough childhood. This guy is straight from a hood family.  We asked him, well do you want to learn more about God. He straight up just said, "well honestly, no.."  Almost no family relation at all. He super rejected everything at first. BUT he loves his "wife" and he will do anything for her. So she wanted to come to church yesterday, and he came along too! Ha with his gangster low-riding jeans and all. He is improving a lot more. We saw him last night and opened up to us tons. He explained that his brother died, that's why he feels like God doesn't care about him. We are working on that tons! He is participating more and more. So great. They are so ready.

I love you so much, Doing so much better this week!!!
Your son,
Elder Sumsion

Exchange with Zone Leader - Elder Bell NJMM 
Dinner at members house - ceviche 

Member who is leaving on a mission to LA

Perth Amboy is historic!

Elder Packer and I at specialized training!  We have the same suit!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 5 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 11 Mission

The Familia!

Didn’t you just love Conference weekend??? Oh my it is so different watching Conference as a missionary. In the closing prayers they always prayed to bless the missionaries. I didn’t realize it at first but then the thought came: I am one of those missionaries! No way so cool. We watched conference at our church building. We set it all up and we had two TVs so we put the Spanish session downstairs and the English session above. So happy that we had it in English. Even my companion, who has amazing Spanish, said that it is tough to understand the vocabulary they use in Conference. And you get more out of it in your own language. I loved all of the talks. SO funny how many times New Jersey was mentioned. Every time I perked my ears up and listened a little more intently. Ha Elder Christofferson mentioned he grew up in the New Brunswick Ward in NJ. We meet in that ward's building every week for zone/district meetings. So cool.

Yes and tons about member missionary work too. It really does help out a lot. We work a lot with members here asking for referrals. It is more effective missionary work. We rarely knock doors because there is almost always something better we could be doing with our time. Visiting a less active, meeting with a member, trying former investigators. Missionary work is changing a lot!

So I am just loving it so much out here. This past week was so much fun. The week before last I got to see Elder Packer at Specialized Training. He is the best, hope I get to be his companion someday. We get along super well. We even have the same suit, and shoes!

So our church building here is pretty nice. Nothing like Trailside building but it has its perks. It is two stories and does not have a gym. The chapel and the cultural hall are the same room. The building is like a huge meeting place though. The culture here is just get together at the church for EVERYTHING. I love it.

We have been getting fed so much. Um for the first time in my LIFE I really have to start watching what I eat! Ha Thats what I get for not playing soccer everyday like home. We get fed tons of Peruvian food, which is absolutely the most delicious food ever. So good. We get fed almost once every day. SO yeah, and there is no rejecting food on the mission. Ha it’s the worst/ the best. Getting forced to eat food??? AWESOME. Will you please send me two new suits, and three pairs of slacks? They don’t fit anymore!!!! HA no just kidding, they are fine. They are still working great! Luckily, we got them a little big.

Funny story last week. We hardly EVER eat out, but we were having a slow day and we had to already start heading home for the night. But we stopped by this little Taqueria on the way because we hadn't had dinner. It was basically this little room with three fold up tables. Best Tacos ever!!! Even beats Taco Tuesday at Windy Ridge! It cost us $10 total, but we started talking to this guy in there and then on his way out he threw us a $10 and said: para que pagar. Ha free meal from a Dominican guy! Awesome

So every morning we wake up and go play tennis! Even the roommates: Elder Vargas, and Elder Ramirez.  No idea, but somehow we found four rackets in our apartment, so we play every day. I’ve got a wicked backhand I have been working on! Ha it’s so fun. We play a few games of doubles and few of singles. My companion and I run to the court every other time or so. Its about 15 min away running.

We teach about 10 or so people a week. Every week we either find 4 new ones or drop two old ones, But usually about 10 a week. It is some hard work here. There are tons of internigators here, meaning people who have been taught sometimes 30-50 lessons and still won’t decide to do anything or get baptized. It seems like we shouldn't waste our time with them and focus on new people, but the majority of the investigators are like this. We do find a few new people every week which is so rewarding. We have 6 set for baptism. We are working hard to prepare them all.

The big obstacle here in New Jersey is we are teaching some very very poor people. Everyone is from another country and they all work in factories, or clean, or work a tiny shop on Fayette Street. They work so much and when they are home they just want to relax and be with the family. They are not too motivated to do anything else, like joining a church. Super Sad. But hey that is why I am here. That’s why I am working my hardest to help change even one person, or one family. I know these people are ready. Everybody is ready, honestly. And that is why I feel so blessed to be here. I am here to light that fire under them! Wow if only they knew how much this Gospel would better their lives. I am here to tell them that. To show them what peace the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring to them. I love it.

I am so grateful to be called to this great work!  I know the Lord is preparing people for me to teach, and is preparing me to teach them. I am trying my hardest to find them and be ready for them. The work is so rewarding. Super good quote by Elder Sam Williams, "The work is hard, but when we are working hard, we are always happy!" (Don’t know if that was exact.) But how true it is. This has been some of the happiest days so far. The Lord is so generous with His love.

(This was in a personal note to me but I thought it was so good that I want to share it...)  I have been out of my comfort zone for 11 weeks. But "there is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone." I have been the growth zone almost 11 weeks straight. So its all good. I’m am learning to be the great missionary, man, father, and husband that the Lord wants me to be. It is awesome. I am doing great :)

I love you tons! Keep being amazing and remember how happy this Gospel is. His plan is PERFECT.

Your son,
Elder Sumsion


Zaharis Family!!!! Thank you so much for sending me that awesome puzzle/letter! I can feel all of your support and love. Keep it up

Williams!!! Thank you for the letter. You are always so inspiring and uplifting. I felt awesome after reading your letter.

Murrays!!! Thanks for the package of all those goodies! My companion and I loved them. So delicious. You are so generous

(He promised some pictures next week)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 4 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 10 Mission


How are you all doing!!! Wow thank you for all the great news and sharing with me all the things that are going on at home. First off I cant believe that Chloe (his sister) is now down at the Provo MTC! That is incredible. I am so happy for her. The first few days in the MTC are rough, so keep her in your prayers and Brett. The mission is the greatest thing in the world. Its full of hard work and change, but the rewards of bringing souls to Christ are so great. Sam, I am super glad you got my letter. I will keep sending more letters to you. Keep it up brother. You mean the world to me. Dad, so glad to hear that you are still slaying it on your bike races/rides! Ha I absolutely love how you connected that with missionary work and life. It is hard work, but there are always times of joy(downhill) on the path, and the end result is so great. Hope the hand is healing up well and the shoulder. Get ready to get out those powder skis! I love you so much dad. You are the greatest example to me. So glad I have you as my dad for eternity.

Mom (and family)- I am doing great. Do not worry. The Lord is mindful of us missionaries. This week has been one of the toughest weeks of my life, but SOOO rewarding. The mission really pulls the weaknesses out of you, if you want it to. So I have been working hard to become that great missionary the Lord needs out here. Its hard work mentally, but I can already see the success of this hard work as I am becoming a personal leader and yes guess what? Better at making decisions!!!!!!!! Ha so fun. I love it so much.

This week has been so crazy though. I cant believe how fast time flies by! Every day feels way long but the weeks just go by. I am finally getting used to living on my own now. I have been living of cereal and frozen burritos for a month and I finally decided I need to make the change and buy some healthier food! Ha so thank you for that awesome grocery list that you sent, I hope I can afford those luxuries... No just kidding I should be able to. As long as I dont get distracted by all the other delicious sugary food. Its so fun buying my own food! Teaching me tons. We are going shopping after this so hopefully I am motivated to buy some healthy food.

I am justloving it our here in NJ. My trainer and roommates are great help to me to become the best missionary I can possibly become. I have learned so much from them on how to do things and..... how not to do things. Ha its nice because we all work together to build each others' weaknesses and focus on strengths. The last four week have taught me so much about not relying on other people but relying on the Lord. I thought that the first few months out here I could just learn and sit under the wing of my trainer.... Oooh how wrong I was. He isnt training me to become a timid missionary but a bold one!!! I have learned so much about being my OWN kind of missionary, not just my companion's trainee.

We had some cool experiences this week with a few investigators. I have been really focusing on miracle and faith the last few weeks. I dont know.. maybe I didnt have the faith that these people could change their lives. But the moment I made a decision to see everyones potential and faith they can receive it, everything changed. There is this one family we are teaching and they have been together for years but not married. They have a 9 year old daughter. So to be baptised they either had to serperate or get married. We were hoping for the second. We asked them to pray about it. We came back a few days later and they said they want to get married!!! So happy. Its taken 10 years for them to make this decision. And now they can continue with their desires to get baptised!! SO excited.

Thank you so much for the packages! It was super nice to see some  of the goodies from home. I loved them all. Thank you and continue sending in your emails all your cool stories and even small and simple things that happened from home. I love hearing about it.

The work is fun and hard. But we get nice rewards! Like last P-day. Last P-day we got a $30 credit from a member to this local D.R. (Dominican Republic) market. We bought 20 Epenadas and 3 bottles of soda. And after we played a short game of Harry Potter CLUE!! HA

I love you all,
Your son,
Elder Sumsion

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 3 Perth Amboy NJ, Week 9 of Mission


Its is soooo good to hear from you every week! Every Sunday night I get so excited because I get to email you in the morning. I absolutely love all the pictures. It is so nice to see every one of you and home. I love it. Crazy week I am sure for you guys. I have been praying tons for you all as Chloe heads out this week! TWO DAYS!! Cant believe that it is already here. (Chloe going to Iowa Des Moines Mission) Chloe, you are going to love it. I cant believe its already fall! Have the leaves started turning colors? Dad, make sure you ride Armstrong trail for me (Once your shoulder and hand heal) and look at those amazing yellow aspens at the top by the Mid Mountain trail. Those are my favorite in PC. Kinda secret to find. You have to bike to be able to see them.

So I am going to answer some questions from mom (or from the whole family, but I was thinking they were mom's though because they were some "worry questions" ha love you mom (He knows me well) ) So here you go: Yes I got your package! Thank you so much. I'm not sure how we got it though. The other Elders picked it up. Shared all the cookies.  Ha so I am in zone 8 and for studying:

We study for 4 hours a day because I am being trained.
-One hour of personal study: Usually read 30 min Book of Mormon, 30 in Preach My Gospel
-Two Hours of Companion Study: We share what we read in personal study, prepare for lessons for that day and then go into the 12 week program, which is basically hours and hours or role playing and watching training movies. Way fun.
-Then one hour of language study: Reading spanish Book of Mormon, or doing grammer exercises.

So yes we are in a walking area, but it is pretty small. We walk between 3 and10 miles a day. It was tiring at first but I am getting used to it. I love my shoes though. We bought the perfect ones. (Ecco) All those hours shopping paid off! We are so exhausted at night that I sleep amazingly well. Usually I can get a whole 8 hours of solid sleep. Its one of the best feelings to work hard and then get to sleep. We see the other two Elders all the time. We eat all our meals with them usually back at home. They are awesome, a little crazy, but they bring some laughter and fun.

This week was a little rough. About half of our planned lessons fell through so we only taught around 15 lessons this week. It was tough on me for a few days because we only taught 3 lessons in 3 days! And one day we taught none! I cant imagine those Europe missions. Dad, way to stick it out until the end. It takes a lot of faith and trust to work this hard and not see the fruit of your labors. Thanks for being such a great example and serving an awesome mission Dad. I know you blessed many lives, many you don't even know.

We got super blessed yesterday on Sunday though. So we had been trying all week and last to get into this inactive members home and talk with him. His name is C_____. He is inactive and the rest of his family are not members. Finally, with the help of a branch member who was this man's friend, we set an appointment for last Saturday at 10 AM. We told him we would play basketball with him if he decided to listen to our message. He agreed! So we played a round of two on two basketball and then taught him a lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He did not seem super receptive. But we invited him to pray and we dowloaded an LDS app on his phone for him so he could read the scriptures easier. We almost set an alarm too. So we left thinking that we didnt do much. But last night his member-friend called us and told us the best news I have heard so far out here. Such a cool story, he said that C_____ told him that he had locked himself in his room and prayed for 15 minutes one of the deepest prayers he had ever given. The whole time his nonmember wife was knocking on the door of his room asking to open the door. He told her to leave him alone for a while. After he finished his prayer he went out and talked with his wife. He told her that he had been praying. She said: Why havent you been praying with me! I want to pray too! He said: but the missionaries told me to pray alone! Ha so funny. So we are going to tell them this week it is ok to pray as a family at our next visit. Way awesome/ funny.

All is well here, I am really learning to love it out here,
I love you all,
Your son
Elder Sumsion