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