Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mexico MTC - Week 5 - Last week in CCM

Hola Familia!

Its good to hear that things are going well lately. I cant believe school started for Sam! That is crazy, I loved High School. Its all about who you hang out with and who encourages you to be your best. So fun. No way, no way! Chloe is going to the temple friday!!! Wow so grateful that she gets to do that. Best opportunity ever. Everyday I try to make my mission as amazing as going to the temple is. I love it.

Wow 5 weeks down already! WE ARE THE OLDEST (MOST EXPERIENCED) GROUP HERE! It is unreal. Next week we will all be gone! So stoked for this. Last week I was having a little rough time at the CCM. I was so anxious to leave. But now I can't even think about leaving. I'm starting to finally really get the hang of it, and we leave in 6 days! I have begun to love it here and now we are all leaving! So sad. But also can I just say how excited I am for Jersey!!!!!!!! Its crazy. Its amazing how much we have learned out here about Heavenly Father. I thought I knew so much about Him. But I have learned and felt so much of His love the last few weeks. He knows our plan and all we have to do is turn our life to Him and ask Him what is best and He will guide us! I know that wherever anybody gets called on their mission, IT IS THE RIGHT PLACE. Seriously this is a mission call from God himself. Of course He sends us to the right place. Last night I was eating one of those JOEY Cookies (thanks for sending them) and on the back of the wrapper I saw this phrase: made in NEWARK, NEW JERESY! Ahhhh seriously- this sent fire through me when I read that. So excited to go. Its amazing how many people here are going to different places. So many to the US, Chile, and Central America. Probably the majority of the thousand or so people here are heading back to the states. Hardly anybody (I think three of us) are heading to Jersey. I really am grateful that God has a plan for us. I am so grateful to be called to New Jersey. It really is so precious in my heart already and I haven't even stepped foot in the state! HERE WE COME!

Things are going great here. Our schedule hasn't changed much. Or at all. I will send you my actual schedule for the past 5 weeks when I get home (Ha sorry not home I just had to leave that in there because I actually typed that! Whoops! Its funny how it actually feels like we are going home, not so much to our house in Park City, but home to the United States, Its funny how many people feel that way. YAY we are going home next week!!!! But they really mean to say YAY United States!!!!!) but no when I get back to the states. You can see the actual things we were doing everyday. Its quite cool actually. So there is not much is new with that. But there are always adventures in every week of life. We had some great times last week. First off, have I mentioned the misquitos!!!!! Oh my, we are living as guests in their home. There are millions. Every night the four of us go one like a twenty minute killing spree in our casa. Its actually quite funny! I have probably thirty misquito bites on my body at a time. Every night I proabably get 3 bites on a good day, 10 on a bad. I think Saturday night we forgot to kill all of them. My companion now has 18 on one arm. Elder Prash got about 10 on his face! It was hilarious. They keep the energy in us. Elder Ellowit, our district leader, tried killing one on the window near our front door. He completely shattered it! Glass was everywhere, pieces like 20 feet away. We were laughing. So funny.

My teachers are a blessing from heaven!!! Oh my I love them. They are seriously the two greatest people. Hermano Klabacka has been with us from the beginning and probably one of the coolest people I have ever met. He served in Alabama, Burmingham. (I was wondering if he knows Elder Scott Peters, Brett's brother, havent asked him yet. He is on that mission now) He is so inspiring. He is always so positive and keeps us smiling and laughing. We have so much fun. He also is so good at bringing the Spirit into class. He is such an example to me. Such an amzing guy. Hermana Arbon is our afternoon teacher. It is unreal how much she reminds me of Chloe! Like the same personality. So fun. She is great too. Pretty laid back, but teaches such good doctrine when we are in class. I love it.

We had a member of the Quorum of the Seventy come last tuesday to speak to us. Elder Johnson, I think. He gave one of the best three talks I have ever heard in my life. He was so focused on what life is really about. First he talked to us about what our purpose is. He showed us that the missionary purpose and Gods purpose (Moses 1:39) are the same! To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. That is our goal. That is everyone's goal. This is God's goal. And God will not fail! We should focus everyday to help him accomplish this, because that really is what life is about. After all is said and done, we will one day know with sureity of God and Jesus Christ and their plan for us. One day this is all that is going to matter, immortality and eternal life with God. That is why people need the Gospel, so they can be happy now, and especially in the life after. With the gospel and the laws and ordinances we can life with God again! Elder Johnson made it clear: Don't ever forget what your real purpose is.

He then went and talked about praying and he told us that everybody needs to pray and ask God five questions. He told us all, EVERYONE, all of us missionaries to pray THAT NIGHT and ask God these questions:

-God, do you really exist?
-Do you have a body of flesh and bones?
-Are you my Father?
-Do you know who I am?
-Do you REALLY love me?

I have never seen a group of people so shaken by a talk. We all personally prayed for proabaly a half hour to an hour that night in our apartment. The blessings and feeling of the confirmation of these questions are so real in my life. I could feel Gods love that night, and everday of my life. I loved it. I encourage all those who read this to do that TONIGHT! So awesome

So much to say and so little time! I will write back next week sometime in NEW JERSEY!!!!!!!!
Love you, your son
Elder Sumsion


Quinn family! Thank you so much for the letter and the pictures of Mckay's mission! Im so glad to see he is doing well. I got to email him last week so we have been keeping it touch! I hope the wedding went well! They look so good together. Thanks for the invitation!

The Williams! Thank you for that thoughtful letter. I can really feel your love. I loved how it was on the back of one of Tom's teaching notes. I can learn something new from both sides! You are so nice to think about me. Hope the new life in SLC is wonderful!



Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Ben will be leaving Monday Sept 2 to New Jersey.
No matter where he lives, you can always send letters/packages to the mission home.
Here is the mission home address:

Elder Benjamin R. Sumsion
New Jersey Morristown Mission
5 Cold Hill Rd S. Suite 10
Mendham, NJ  07945

Mexico MTC - Week 4!

Our district with the two native training missionaries from Mexico

Hola Familia!

I am doing great though. At times is gets a little slow, but everyday I learn something new and a whole new mindset comes that changes everything. To answer some questions: They did give me some nice leather-bound Spanish scriptures the first day, except I cannot find my Bible so I am going to have to grab a new one on my way out. We dont have much of a choice here at the store. They give us like 100 pesos a week (like 8 dollars) which can actually buy a lot. Most people just use it all on junk food. Its hilarious. Last week we were walking out and this missionary had a bag of proabaly 20 Milkyway king sized candy bars. He said they were for his companion. So funny. I did get all your packages though!  Thanks for all the food in the other, especially those goldfish! Thanks for all the letters too. You have no idea how they can change days for the better. Most others have gotten maybe one or two letters, so sad! Thanks for everything

The weeks are flying by! We are now the oldest district in our zone! Everybody else has less weeks on their name than us. Crazy how fast its going. On Sunday I was getting so excited to leave to Jersey. The same schedule, same food and living in a wall was weighing on me a little. I wanted to go and teach some real people. I was getting anxious. I have praying hard for the desire to work harder and focus harder. It all worked out yesterday because we got to have two mexican missionaries with us in class. Their district left early in the morning so they needed to be with us for a day until they left. They were awesome and we had the opportunity to role play with them. Their Spanish was crazy fast but we actually could understand a lot of it. Their presence helped us talk Spanish all throughout the day. It really gave me a good push. Its crazy how happy and motivated I get when Im speaking spanish as much as possible and working as hard as I can. I love it. And I am so grateful for the next two weeks I get to have here in the CCM to learn more.

Last tuesday night we got to be part of the first live MTC worldwide devotional! It was from Provo and broadcasted live to all of the American and South American MTCs. The rest will watch it later this week. Elder Scott talked about prayer. It was so powerful. I love him because he is so sincere and so gentle. He gave probably the best talk on prayer I have ever heard. He talk about really just talking with your Father in Heaven during prayer. Pour out your heart to him; he is listening and wants to help you. Make sure you give time to listen for an answer. He said you will recieve an answer in three ways: a firm positive feeling, an unsetttling feeling knowing that a decision is wrong, or no feeling at all. But why no feeling at times? It is because Heavenly Father knows you and knows when the right time is to recieve an answer. Dont just wait for an answer but act and look for small packets of light of your answer. God will never fail you, he loves you and knows the best for you. He will always answer. It was such a powerful talk. I really enjoyed hearing the words of an Apostle of the Lord.

The Spanish is coming along so well. At times I feel like a native and at others I feel like it will take three years to learn this. But seriously, the gift of tongues is so real. We were in church on Sunday when a girl was giving her talk in spanish. She was absolutely slaying it. Her Spanish was unreal. It was so good. Its cool how we are able to learn Spanish so fast. I know I still have a lot to learn, but even I am starting to speak Spanish without even thinking about it. Its amazing to really behold the power of God before us.

lets see... Oh yeah soccer has been coming along well! Ill grab a picture of the court we play on. Like I said last week, its all cement and it is a form of street soccer. There are some way good players and some way bad players all on the court at the same time. Its a nice mixure. There was one missionary saturday who was unreal. In all my 14 years of soccer I have never seen somebody so good. He was smaller than me but was amazing. So fun to play though. Its amazing how much easier it is in class to focus when we work out really hard. We have been playing tons of basketball, I have no idea why but that is just one sport that is hard for me to pick up. I am getting better everyday though. We played with some workers here at the MTC. They were probably 30 years old and they were all from Mexico. We played a game of two vs three. We were the three, and they totally whooped us. it was funny, but my skills are improving.

Our lessons are going great as well. We have the same two investigators last week. We have commited both to be baptised. It was hard work to get there. The investigators are both our classroom teachers. One is the morning teacher and the other is the afternoon teacher. One is role playing as a super hard investigator named Lucas, the other is easier named Holly. It was hard with Lucas because we had been working hard for him to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true. He was not really keeping his commitments. But we have helped him learn more and last week he accepted baptism. So cool, even though its fake for now.

 I have been doing great! So excited for Jersey!!!!!

Your son, with love
Elder Sumsion

Giant moth

The water supply. Each of those are 20 Liters, and about 4 bottles thick to the wall

Typical Breakfast

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mexico MTC - Week 3!!! Halfway through CCM!!!!!

Mexico City Temple

Hola familia!
We're halfway there. Today officially markes my half way point here at the Centro De Capacitacion Missional Mexico or the CCM (which is the name of the MTC in Mexico, but nobody calls it the MTC.) The first group of American Elders left yesterday! Its crazy to think that I was one of the first groups of Americans down here. Its funny to watch how things are slowly improving every day as more and more people are coming. Um just kidding about the 60 people a week. We are receiving around 150 to 200 a week. Its nuts.The first few weeks I could recognize almost everybody, now I have no idea who is new and who is old. I don't know, but the last three weeks have absolutely flown by. I feel like I barely got here and now I'm closer to the day I leave than the day I got here. I am having a great time here at the CCM, but I am so excited to leave to New Jersey. 

This place is so amazing. I truly can feel the Spirit everyday and in every meeting. I have so many experiences I want to share with you about how amazing the work is here and how absolutely real this Gospel is.

We got to go to the temple today! It was awesome! This is the only opportunity we have to leave the campus. I haven't seen real people doing real world jobs in three weeks. I almost forgot the world wasn't as easy and clean as the CCM. It was so nice to get out. The temple is absolutely gorgeous. The inside was even more beautiful. It is nice to feel the warmth and Holiness of the temple again. It was so awesome because we got to do a Spanish session. I was heading into it think that I was gonig to be completely lost. But to my amazement, I understood so much of it. I could really feel the Spirit working in me. I wasn't trying to concentrate on what was being said but more on how I felt. And it turned out I could understand a majority of it. So great. We get to go back in two weeks.

He told a neat story about his companion getting sick and then asking Ben to give him a blessing.

Along with that we got two new (mock) investigators this week. Things have been going great with them. After three weeks I really am starting to feel great about everything. The schedule and life of a missionary is just beginning to become part of me. It really is nice. It was hard for the first three weeks because every day I would devote all my time to working and serving and then everynight dream about home and you and my friends. It was hard to always be dreaming of home. But the dreams have faded now and I can now wake up every morning and be able to concentrate on the work. Don't worry, I have not forgotten about you, and there is not a second here when you all aren't on my mind. But my thoughts of home and you are a lot more positive and happy. They push me to work harder and devote more of my time.

I have another cool thing to tell you. Almost everyday we have the chance to go on the computers and learn Spanish in a BYU based program called TALL. Technology Assisted Language Learning. It is awesome and helps so much. Its funny though because all of the backgrounds on the computers are either temples or some shot of nature. The one I was on last week had a inspiring pĂ­cture on it. It had a picture of a beautiful fall mountain with bright leaves on a little bit of snow. And there in the middle was a chairlift!!!! Oh my, all my thoughts flooded back to skiing! It was so funny. My thoughts were all- really? I could've chose any other computer! But it was pretty inspiring actually. I thought that the next time I sit on Jupiter lift in two and a half years when the snow is 3 feet deep, I want to be able to think back to this day, to this week, to this year, to this mission. I want to sit on that lift and have no regrets about my mission. I want to sit there and think that if I had worked any harder on my mission I would've been dead. I am going to work my heart out so when that day comes I can sit with a smile and think about every person I have helped, every person I have served, and every person I helped partake of the blessings of baptism and the temple. I am going to work my hardest out here because I only have two years to serve. That is nothing. I am going to give my life for two years so other people will be happy for their whole lives and eternity. This is what the Lord needs. This is what I need. I am so excited for my chance to serve.

I love you very much,

Your son,
Elder Sumsion

PS - i am happy and healthy!  I have been getting emails from my friends and I love it! Its just a lot to write in a few hours!  ha

Cleaning the bathroom
Mexico City Temple

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mexico MTC Address

It has come to my attention that when looking at the blog on a mobile phone, you can't see the address that I have posted on the side.  He said he would prefer mailed letters since they don't have a lot of time to read and respond to emails.  BUT if you can't write a mail letter, please continue to email him.  Thanks so much for supporting him.

Pouch Mailing Address:  US stamp (No packages -
and specifically no envelope - single sheet of paper folded and taped only!)
Elder Benjamin Rex Sumsion
Mexico MTC
P.O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

or (costs about a dollar in stamps):

Elder Benjamin Rex Sumsion
Charretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Col. Zona Escolar
Gustavo A Madero
07230 Mexico City, Distrito Federal

He leaves the MTC September 2 and it takes about 10 days to get a letter to him.  So try to write before August 21st.

Mexico MTC Week 2

Hello Family!
To answer some questions, I am doing great! Wow talk about hard work! We are working and studying all day long. Its awesome I am learning so much. Everyday I get so much new information, new ways of teaching and new ways of learning. The hard part is when I'm in the middle of teaching a lesson and I want to express all the desires of my heart, but cant because the lesson is all in Spanish. So I end up just talking in the most broken Spanish ever to my mock-investigator who is actually a Spanish teacher here at the MTC. So half my words come out in a language of Spanish words and English grammer. I call it Jiberish because Spang-lish is way more sophistacated. Its funny. But no its really not that hard and I am actually learning Spanish everyday. Its really nice because the Spirit tells us exactly what we need to say, and somehow I always have the Spanish to say it. It works out well. 
First time doing laundry away from home was nuts. Thats about all I can say to describe it. We started our wash like 3 hours before P-day ended and I threw my whites in and did everything correct just like you taught me mom. I put the detergent in and everything. I pulled them out and they had a tint of dirt on them and I was like what in the world? I tried again and even more dirt appeared. So I finally switched washers, and when I pulled them out they had the biggest tint of brown ever. They were no longer whites. We called reception and explained it and in the most broken English they said: "oh water dirty..... pipe......broken.....its sewage." Oh my when I heard that i was in complete shock. It was so unreal we all just started laguhing. There was now way, I just washed my clothes in sewage. It was actually hilarious. But it actually wasn't sewage (at least thats what im telling myself) but it didnt smell bad at all. I am 90% sure it was just dirt. but super funny. We waited like three hours and tried again and they came out white. We actually washed them twice just to be sure. So yeah it took me like 5 tries to do my first load of wash, but in the end they all came out clean. 
We have 10 people in our branch (church group) and none of them are going to New Jersey. A lot of people here are going back state side. There is only a few going down to South America. I only know two others going to New Jersey (Elder Packer and one more). I am loving it here though. 
It was super hard to get into the system but once it clicked and I forgot my self and focused on the work it worked out. We are almost full here at the MTC. Every week we get like 60 more people. Tonight we get new arrivals and we should be maxed out. I just hope there is enough room for everybody. The cafeteria is getting tight. 
So we actaully live in a casa. Some people live in dorm rooms but we live in a house with 4 rooms. Each room has 4 elders, one bathroom, one shower. Out house (yes, out house as in toilet! but he said it wasn't that bad) is like a 5 min walk from everything. So going back and forth from it gives us a good amount of time each day to just walk. It adds up. 
Gym time is way fun. I'm slowly building my basketball skills. Some people here are amazing though. Our district has been playing a lot of volleyball too. 
We get to go to the temple every other P-day but the temple just closed for cleaning and we still haven't gone. Probably in like two weeks we will get to go. 
As far as letters go... I'm loving the letters! They are nice because I get to read them all week, whereas emails we only have so much time to write. So sorry if my emails are short for anybody. We just dont have all the time in the world. The timer in the corner that Sister Murray talked about is real. It counts down from 60 min. But usually they give us more time here at the MTC because there is not a lot to do on P-day. I am so grateful for all the emails though. You have no idea how the love I felt from everyone has helped me. Thank you. Heads up though: they said letters take like 10 days to get here. So dont freak out if I dont respond right away. 
I love you,
Elder Sumsion