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)