Monday, February 24, 2014

Clinton Week 7, first week as Trainer

Wow this has been an eventful week. So much stuffed just jam packed into 7 days. First off, I have a new companion, Elder Class, straight from the Mexico MTC. He is from San Jose, California and he is 20 or so. I told him to guess how old I was and he said hmm like 20 or so. Ha he thought it was funny that Im still 18! He is an awesome missionary, and very prepared. His Spanish is pretty good too. Best I've seen straight out of the MTC. Ha oh yeah and he loves talking about his girlfriend. So funny. 


I really have a testimony of how well the Lord knows us and loves us because of this past week. I was pretty nervous the first few days to be a trainer. I was just amazed and in shock about how I was supposed to lead an area and a new missionary when I have only been out a few longer than he has. It was pretty rough. I prayed so much for help and a sense of peace. It was one of the hardest times of my mission yet. I was exercising a lot of faith and put full trust in God, but I felt pretty inadequate for what was coming. But wow things have been amazing this past week. Heavenly Father blessed me so much with an awesome new companion. Elder Class has been so easy to teach and train. He came so prepared and ready to work. He is already a full contributing factor to our companionship. We have been working great together and are making a lot of progress. We really have been working hard and praying a lot for some prepared investigators. It has been fun.


I am back to 2 hours of mandatory companionship study again being a trainer. Its the best to look back over the 12 week training program and study all the fundamentals again. We have been doing tons of role plays and good studies. Its so fun being a trainer cause I can really control the obedience and diligence we put in. I have set the standard  and my companion is so ready to follow it. We have been blessed for our obedience this past week with some cool new investigators. We found about 6 new investigators this past week. Some of some pretty good potential. The hardest thing is still peoples' schedules. We have so many investigators we can't see very often because of random work schedules. But we have a few solid investigators we are hoping to set on baptismal date this next week.


On Friday we tried to see Ed---, one of our investigators, but he wasn't there. So we walked a few feet off and I was writing some notes in my planner and this guy came around the corner and he said "Hey, you are the Elders, I mean missionaries, right?" Um yes we are, have you talked to missionaries before? He said that he had a few years back. His name was Da--. Pretty crazy guy. Said he talked to missionaries before but doesn't believe in organized religion. He is straight from the Bronx and a little psycho. He has read the whole Book of Mormon but doesn't want to become Mormon. Said he wants to have us over again. So we are seeing him this next week and going to see if we can get him to change his life around.


Things are so warm here too. Like 50 degrees. Hasn't been this warm since October. So nice to go work without a huge coat on.  It is amazing.


We had our biggest transfer conference ever this past week. Over 60% of the mission got switched around. So everything is pretty different. They had to make a new zone this past transfer as well because of how big we are getting. We have 251 missionaries. I love this mission. 

Elder Sumsion

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Clinton week 6, week 30 mission, Trainer!

NJ PA border - Delaware river

Someone's car we saw buried after all the snow!
Sorry for the delay, we were out of town with no internet.

Hi Familia,

We taught this man named Ar--- this past week. Oh man he is the best. He has such a strong desire to know truth and he read the Book of Mormon this last week. He was sad we hadnt come back the week earlier. He was getting Jehova's Witness attacked too. We traded his JW Bible for one of ours. He is excited to read it. He is just the most humbled guy. He is from Guatemala  and is here working for his family who is back in Guatemala. We are going to teach him the Restoration again this week and get him pumped for baptism. He is a little confused since the last time we taught it about 3 weeks ago. Excited for him.

This week has been absolutely nuts. We got about 2 total feet of snow this last week which provided many service opportunities of guess what? Shoveling snow! HA all that hard work at home Dad and who knew I would be helping shovel driveways on my mission and spreading the Gospel by doing it! Ha.  Thank you for teaching me about how to work hard. It is a key of success out here and pretty much everywhere in life. So we shoveled out this driveway of a member for about an hour with a bunch of ice. And when we got back into the car, we saw that we had missed a call from President. So we called him back and our hearts were just pounding,  and he said "Elder Sumsion, I would like to extend the call to you to be a trainer for a new coming missionary." I was so surprised. It was the last thing I expected. Most trainers are called when they are about a year out, so I wasn't even considering getting a call. But sure enough I was called last friday to be a trainer! So crazy. I accepted the call and he said I had to be to a meeting on Monday (today) so that why I couldn't email earlier. (We can email at the church.) So crazy. District Leader and now trainer at the same time. Absolutely crazy. I am going to be relying so much on the Lord these next two transfers. I am super humbled to be called. President told us today that it is  what the Lord wants; The Lord called us. He is running this mission. I feel so humbled to be  one worthy to receive this call. So pumped. I will be praying tons this week. Its a big call for me right now but way excited to serve. 

So I will be staying another transfer here in Clinton probably two more because training for new missionaries is 12 weeks or two transfers and trainers are usually with their new companions for both. We are going to do work out here in Clinton. I still am learning so much about how to be the best missionary I can be and know I have the opportunity to teach a new missionary and be his example. So I will probably be in the biggest growth session of my life for the next 3 months. The Lord will be with me all the way, I know it. Thanks for all the love and prayers. I have felt them so much my whole mission, especially this last transfer. Thank you. 

I love you so much,
Elder Sumsion

Princeton University Chapel with Elder Aspinall

Princeton University
SHOUTOUT: Amy (and Tom) Williams- thank your for the letter. It always warms my heart to hear from you. Thanks for your love.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Clinton, NJ - Week 5, Week 29 Mission

Awesome week here in Jersey. It is so much fun serving and learning out here. Every week feels like ages and at the same time fees like things are flying by. Transfers are already next week. I think we are both staying but we will see. Also that means my district will get shaken up a bit and get some fresh missionaries here in Clinton. Its crazy that it is already February. It hits me every week how short my time is out here. Gets me working harder and harder. So much is going to change in the next 6 months. The mission is starting to get ready for the new President in July. Very excited to be a part of all this.

This past week was fun especially the weekend. We did so much. So every Monday night we have this thing called a cottage meeting at a member's house. Its basically an opportunity for members to invite their friends to come learn about the Gospel. We as missionaries also bring investigators to them. We teach it every week and goes fairly well. We get often random numbers of people every week, but its turning out to be effective. We taught this last one just about the Plan of Salvation. We usually sing songs and stuff too. My companion sometimes sings with his Ukulele. 

Went on my first exchange last week where I was the district leaders in charge. I have probably been on 12 exchanges or so but this was the first where I was giving training to another missionary. It was fun and the Lord blessed me a lot to know how to help him. Being a district leader is fun because I have the opportunity to receive revelation for my district everyday. Whether its helping them set goals, or helping them figure out how to get someone to progress, or planning for district meeting, I get to help them so much. Its a blessing to see how much inspiration we get for those we lead over when we ask for it and seek it.

Its funny how some things are done differently over here in Jersey. For example, we sing a lot of just random hymns in the church meetings that I didn't even know existed. Everything in this  american ward is so similar to home Utah wards, but the culture is different. Its fun to experience it. Don't get me wrong, its the same church, nobody is changing doctrine here, but somethings are just different in a funny way. Sometimes me and my companion will have to sit towards the back or side of Gospel Principles class and Priesthood, because we start laughing at small things that just crack us up. I think we get along too well at times. Ha This past week We went to this family named the Wagstaffs. They were so funny and reminded me of things at back in Utah. We had dinner and the kids were just crazy. There were 4 of them all 16 and younger and just so funny. We were laughing pretty hard. I really think I was sent to this area just so I could learn how to laugh more. Never laugh so hard my entire mission than I have here with Elder Aspinall. Everything is so much better with occasional laughter.

We taught E--- and R--- this last week. Taught them the Restoration of the Gospel. We finished up and invited them to read the Book of Mormon and R--- got a bit defensive and said she is Christian (People don't understand what being Christian means here in Jersey. ) But she got a little defensive and didn't want to read it. We testified strong about it and they both said they would read it. We are praying that they are. We will see them on Tuesday. 

Ed--- is doing well but is working like a champ. He works two jobs, one he only does when it snows. He plows roads or something, but he doesn't have a license so I don't know how he does it Ha. No joke he leaves at 6 AM for one job and gets home at 2 AM from the other. He is home only for 4 hours!!!! Crazy. That is why it made since when he told us he doesn't have time to read the Book of Mormon. We promised him that if he took the time to read, God would help him with his job and work out his schedule. We are also seeing him again early this week. Praying hard that he reads.

Crazy that there still isn't much snow out there in Utah. Thanks for sending the pictures of Souchi and the Olympics. So cool that Sage won the snowboarding slope style. Keeping it real, America. Bummer I cant watch but nothing is better than being here serving a mission. Wouldn't trade it for the world. 

Thank you dad for sending me that loving email. I love the super bowl quote- Why not me?. So good

I love you all. Keep it up. You mean the world to me out here. 
Your son,

Elder Sumsion


Donahoos!!!!!! Thank you for the package of Valentine's day goodies. Thank you for the "celestial" cookies as well. Love you. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Clinton, NJ - Week 4, Week 28 Mission

Hello Family,

It has been another awesome week here in Clinton. We are starting to see some real success out here. We have been praying quite a bit lately for help to find those people who have been prepared to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been asking to find someone who will really want to accept this Gospel. We teach more and more different people every week, but their level of commitment is pretty low. However we did find this one family. Edgar, his wife (haven't seen her much), Eileen, and Kelly. They are actually seeming more and more interested every time. This is the same family we met when we came but they are showing some real signs of interest. We taught Eileen about the Plan of Salvation this past week focusing on her (real) father who passed away about 8 years ago. She loved it and she already prays every day and night and now she is praying about her father and if our message is true. We taught her step dad Edgar last night. We taught a whole lesson on the importance of the Book of Mormon. Very spiritual lesson. He said if he knows the Book of Mormon is true he will get baptized. Sweet, because guess what Edgar- it really is true! I am super excited for him. It has been a slow month so we are happy to see some progress here in Clinton. We are so pumped.

We have been getting good at contacting people in the street. I can actually say I like doing it. Yes, I like walking up to random people and sharing the Gospel with them. It is probably one of the most fun things. You never know what their reaction will be. Yesterday I contacted this guy named Samuel (in a Spanish pronunciation) and he was so happy to talk to us. He didn't want to leave. He has met with missionaries before, but works a ton, going to see him this week. We have only about two active Hispanic Families in the ward, The Mandez and the Semperteguis. So we have to do a majority of finding new investigators on our own. We can’t just rely on them giving us referrals. So we have to do it the old fashioned way: lots of contacting and knocking doors. Its teaching me tons, and I love just talking to people especially about the Gospel.

It’s crazy how much I have had to step up my game in this new area. It was tough at first being senior companion and finalizing decisions and being the example of exact obedience, but man I am so grateful for it. I have learned so much. My mission is really becoming my mission. And now that it is becoming mine, I can give my mission 100% to the Lord. There is no more relying on anything else but the Lord. I have learned to start acting instead of waiting for other people to act. If I don’t act nothing gets done. It’s been fun learning how obedience plays a role out here. I mean its everything and some missionaries just don’t understand that. A lot of people don’t understand that either. If we want to be blessed and happy we better be obedient because it is the only way. It has changed everything. Doing the Lord's will over my will makes all the difference. There is NO failure in that path. I cannot fail when I put God's will before my will. Everything will be for my benefit and others. Such an interesting thing to dwell on. But we can’t be perfect yet and that's where repentance comes in. That's where living the Gospel comes in. We keep changing every day to become more like Christ because that is the happiest way. It is really the only way. I love that.

Well it’s snowing again today. We have received about 6 inches more of some thick wet snow. It was 60 degrees yesterday and now snowing again. Such random weather. But at least it’s not freezing anymore. 

Being district leader is getting more fun and easier every day. Learning so much and loving the chance to serve. My district is so awesome and such hard workers. District meeting is getting super fun too. I am getting more and more comfortable giving my training and doing role plays. 

SO grateful for such an awesome mission. The missionaries here are so obedient and so into Preach My Gospel. President Jeppson is one of the most inspiring people I have met. Probably be an Apostle someday.

Spanish is coming along well. Forced to speak it out here and it is starting to really flow. Still not 100% but wow sometimes I walk away from lessons in shock because of how little I had to think about what I was saying. We can hold hour long conversations just fine now with people. We don’t get to speak it much other than lessons. District meeting and all other meetings are English because of the English missionaries. It really is an English Mission but there are about half of us speaking Spanish. We are trying to speak it more and more just with each other around the house. But it’s coming along well. 

Thank you for that awesome package as well. We loved all the treats and Hawaiian stuff. Haven’t had time to make it quite yet. But thank you for all the dinner ideas too. And I loved the oatmeal cookies. My favorite. That was so kind and loving of you. Elder Aspinall loved it too. Thanks for thinking about him.

Loving the work out here. SO much. Thank you for letting me come out here and serve. Its changing my life.

Elder Sumsion


Aunt Keri/ The Harris'- Thank you for the package with all the gummy sweets and fun scriptures to look at. Thanks for thinking about me. Glad to not be a greenie anymore!

Valerie Cannon- Thanks for all the things to keep me warm the next few weeks. That was so thoughtful of you. They will be in good use soon enough.

Tyler Alden- Sent me a crazy perfect missionary package with all the missionary needs. Thank you Tyler. You sent me things I didn't even know I needed until I got them. Thanks.