Monday, March 31, 2014

Clinton - Week 12, week 36 Mission

My family,

This week was nuts. Every week has been super busy for the last month. Transfer text was today and I am staying here in Clinton for the next six weeks as trainer and district leader. Its good because we are truly starting to see things pick up in this area and we have some baptisms set for the first month of May. Its hard working with a new(ish) area. Not a lot of direction to go off but we do have a lot of potential to work with. 

We have been contacting like crazy. We are at the point now where we know pretty much everybody in Flemington. Well, every Hispanic in Flemington. We are driving or walking and we are always waving and seeing people that we know, either the interested ones or not.  We are going to try a new part of our area more and start expanding our searches. Our area is huge so there are small farm towns we have only been to probably once. We are really seeing some success though.

We went on an exchange this past week. I went with a member of my district to his area and his companion came here with Elder Class. Elder Class is pretty confident so it was funny to hear he was a little nervous for his first exchange leading the area. He did work though. So proud. He went to this potentials house  that we contacted a few weeks ago and he taught them a first lesson in Spanish by himself (his exchange companion, Elder Ragma, is and English elder) AND he set them with a baptismal date. So stoked for him. He was super happy on his first real exchange. We are truly seeing some miracles out here in this area.

I went with Elder Johnson to his area. Fun to be in an English area for a day. We taught in all English and went to this small town called Washington. Super small town. Elder Johnson is the best. Such a good teacher. He is a good friend, sad to see him leaving this next transfer. He has been in my district for two transfers. Don't know where he is going. He has been on the west side of the mission for a year now.  Im thinking he is probably going hood. 

Clinton is kind of up in the corner so we have had to drive so much this transfer. We drive to Princeton a few times a month, Morristown about 3 times a month, and Northbranch twice a week and Flemington everyday. Its a blessing we have a car! Have I ever told you about the driving here in Jersey? Craziest thing. Probably nothing like South America but for a first world country it is sketch. Pretty much cars just cut you off all the time but people do it so much that nobody cares. Nobody gets mad because its pretty much expected. The best is at red stop lights when you are going straight and there is a car in the oncoming traffic turning left in the turn lane. So right when the light turns green the car will just go and turn in front off you and its just  so expected that everybody goes slow off the line. Sketch. Its called the Jersey Juke. 

Our new branch is really picking up. We are seeing some good work. Our new branch mission leader is super hardworking and is really trying to help get people to come out with us to lessons. Its a little tough because we only have about 3 active families from the branch in our area so getting people to come out has been a struggle. We have been making more calls and working with the ward more to get people in the other area to come with us. Its been going well.

Things are going great out here. Its been raining like crazy. I keep telling my companion, we don/t have much rain in Utah.

Love you,
Elder Sumsion


Thank you for all the birthday wishes and cards!!!!!
Innis Family
Emily and Valerie
Sister Potter
Sumsion Family
Grandma and grandpa Montgomery
Jim and Christy Wilson
Max strong
Uncle Norm and Aunt Karma Rae

Thank you!!!! I feel so much love and support from you all. Thank you!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Clinton - New Branch - Week 11, week 35 Mission


This has been such a rewarding week. We have truly seen some miracles. Never worked so hard. I have been sleeping so well the past few days. The work has been so fun. 

First off, Thank you for all the birthday wishes. It was probably one of the happiest days of my
mission. I felt so loved. Thank you for sending all the packages and letters. I love the gift package you sent with the t-shirt, grandma's peaches, some lego figures, the funny ping pong stuff, and the food. You are the best. I love you family. Sam thanks for the Rubik's Cube. I did it again before email today and my personal best is about 2:05. You smoked me. Ha But thank you family again for that. I could really feel the love.

Also on my birthday we had a very cool experience. We had been knocking doors for a little to get our 10 contacts for the day and we had talked to about 5 people. But we knocked this one apartment door and we just did the usual Hey we are missionaries... But we just asked can we come in and share our message. They let us in. I could immediately feel the Spirit in their home. We taught both of them. Their names are Da--- and Me---. Both about 30, brother and sister. Their family and parents are back in Honduras. Super humble and they both accepted to be baptized and on a specific date. We were just blown away after we got out of the lesson. It was a huge blessing. We haven't had a solid baptismal date since I have been here. Almost 3 months. 

With contacting 10 people a day with the Book of Mormon, President promised our teaching pool will double. We have already seen the blessings of that. This past week we found 5 new investigators and our teaching pool is getting a lot bigger. We have about 7 people with potential to be baptized. Their real trial is that they just work a lot and we can't see them as often as we need to. But It is such a blessing from the Lord to have them. We have been working hard and we are really starting to see the fruits of our labors. It is some hard work. 

We also met with a guy yesterday named Ru---. He met with the missionaries off and on the last 3 years. He is from the Dominican Republic and lives with his four kids. 3 daughters (baptized a few years ago) 1 son who is not a member. His wife still lives in the Dominican Republic but she is coming this summer. He is such a humble guy. We taught him a quick lesson yesterday about the Atonement relating it to the gospel. At one point in the middle of the lesson I just had the thought to ask him how he feels about baptism. He said good like he needs to. So we testifies and committed him right there to be baptized. He said yes to May 11th! So we were blessed yesterday to have someone else ready and on date for baptism. Such a miracle week. 

Great training this last week from the assistants. Talked about three things to help our mission: UOF. U is for urgency. When we receive revelation for our investigators and members we should be sprinting to our cars to go give it to them. O is for ownership. Own your area, own your district, own your work. Be humble to the Lord, but take ownership of what we are doing out here.  F is for faith. We need to increase our faith that the Lord will give us success.  Success comes from the Lord so we need to ask for it. The quote was "Obedience brings blessings. Perfect Obedience brings miracles." More correct: "Obedience brings blessings. Perfect Obedience and FAITH bring miracles." So true... They know what they are doing.

Famous Red Mill in Clinton, NJ
Yesterday we had a pretty funny thing happen at church in the new branch. We don't really have a Gospel Doctrines teacher yet so three minutes before class started they asked us 4 missionaries in the branch to do it. It was on Genesis 34, 37,38,39. Crazy stuff. It was so tough. We just threw it together on the spot. Pulled out some doctrine from it helped the people in the class relate it. All in Spanish. Then we had to help teach in Priesthood and I gave a talk in Sacrament. Such a busy day at church.

Hope all is well. Pumped to hear about the new Stake Presidency. Sounds like such powerful men.

Love you,
Elder Sumsion

Linger Longer at the second week of the new Spanish Branch

A real  New Jersey hot dog!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Clinton Week 10, Week 34 Mission - Fastest week of my mission!

March 17, 2014  Familia!

How is everything going! This past week has been the fastest week of my whole mission. Every night we have just collapsed into bed. Every second I have had something to do. I don't even know where to begin. Things are so fun. NJMM is the best mission in the world. Seriously, Sam pray to get called here! Ha okay here we go

I finally got my haircut this last week! It was so long. I noticed it a few weeks ago and the wonderful member, Sister Bradshaw, in our ward was out of town in Switzerland. But I finally got it cut last P-day. They remind me of many families back at home.  Their son is serving in Salt Lake City South. But I heard we aren't in that mission anymore... Super nice family though. 

We had Specialized Training on Wednesday. It is pretty much a check up on all the new missionaries to see how they have been holding up the first few weeks. The new missionaries and the trainers all get to go. Just the assistants and the President and sister Jeppson, trainers, and new missionaries. So it is a blast. They split us into two rooms. Trainers and assistants in one and the new missionaries and President and sister Jeppson in another. We (trainers) got to talk about problems we are having as trainers and discuss them with the other trainers and assistants. Meanwhile, the new missionaries get to talk to the President and sister Jeppson about how they are doing and how they like their trainers. So its a fun like 5 hour meeting. Sister Jeppson always feeds us as well.

Thursday and Friday we had these big meetings called Leadership Training. It is a way for the new missionaries to receive training from President and sister Jeppson, the assistants, and the southern half of the mission's zone leaders. The meetings are 8 hours long! Everyone gets to go when they are being trained. I went back in October, now I got to go as a trainer, so it was fun to get refreshed on everything and see everyone. This is the schedule: Training, role plays, snack, training, role plays, lunch, training, role plays, snack, training, role plays, end. Did that for two days. So fun. 

Role plays are the best. President is so into them. Its where you can learn before you do it in real life. And its amazing how strongly I felt the Spirit in every role play. This work must be important if God allows us to feel the Spirit in our role plays!  It was so fun to be with all these veteran missionaries and all the new missionaries. It is a fun balance. Really good teachers, and some really 'new' teachers. Ha the new missionaries are awesome though. Super prepared. 

I really do love this mission so much. Those two days at leadership training were some of the funnest days of my mission. I love all the missionaries that were there. It is just such a spiritual and fun time. I have made some awesome friends too. There are some good hardworking, obedient missionaries in this mission. We all just have so much fun with the work. I have never been so happy before. Its a blessing to be in the Lord's service.

It was super cold a few days ago when we knocked on this door. Some guy opened and I was so ready to get out of the cold so I pretty much just said we are missionaries. Can we come in a share a message? Ha he actually said yes. We ended up teaching this guy named Carlos all about the Restoration of the Gospel. He said he believed it all. We got to apply all the things we learned at our training this last week. We knelt down and asked him to pray specifically if the Book of Mormon is true. He said a quick prayer and sort of mumbled it. We finished and I said okay now pray again and specifically ask God if the Book of Mormon is true. So we said another. He said it again. I could really feel the Spirit when he prayed. Oh it was a miracle. Such a good night. 

Your son,
Elder Sumsion

FYI - What it looks like where we live...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Clinton Week 9 - Week 33 Mission

This week has been absolutely nuts. First off we received two new mission standards in the NJMM. They came from a quote in Preach My Gospel. The quote is in chapter 5 Book of Mormon, it says: 

“Please do not take the Book of Mormon for granted. Pray for a vision of how the Book of Mormon can be used more effectively in your mission. I promise that as you do so, your mind will be enlightened with the direction that you should take.” –Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

So President Jeppson took that to heart and prayed for a way we can better use the Book of Mormon here in NJMM. He felt impressed to give us two new standards: make 10 contacts a day with the Book of Mormon and carry a Book of Mormon everywhere you go in your hand. (Contacting is basically just talking to a random person in the street or knocking a door.)  Wow we have seen miracles with this. Last week our mission contacted 6,241 people total. Think about that. Now 6,241 more people know about Christ's restored church on the Earth! Crazy to think about that. And the other one is that if we are wearing our mission tags (which is pretty much always) then we have to have a Book of Mormon in our hands. Ha a comment was made about if you could just keep a copy of the Book of Mormon in your bag and not hold it. The reply was simply:  How effective are you in battle with your 'sword' sheathed? Ha pretty good stuff right there. 

The whole focus recently is to "Lose yourself in the Work" and wow that has been so true this past week. When you are constantly seeking to contact everybody to achieve your goals, all fear is gone and all of your thoughts are to do what Christ says: preach the message of the Restoration of the Gopel of Jesus Christ. Its been so fun. The days have never flown by so fast. Its crazy. Everyday I feel like I check my watch and think: No way its already 8:00! We still have so much to do today and so many people to teach and talk to and testify to. Its crazy how fast the time flies when you really forget yourself in the work.

We had our first Sunday of our new Spanish Branch. There were 40 people there! We were so pumped. I was expecting less the first time. But no this branch will blow up. It will be a ward in no time. So crazy though. Never realized how much work is put in. Everything was just a guess yesterday. This was all set up in a matter of a few days. We were talking to the Bishop and he said" ok here is the plan" and we walked into the office. There were a few lines written on the chalkboard. Pretty much just: Sunday school here, priesthood goes here, Relief society here, and then after we will have Sacrament. Ha we had no idea who would be there or what would happen. Only a few people have callings. They had to just ask this RM to teach Gospel Principles about 3 min before it started because the usual teacher wasn't there. Ha They asked us to do the Sacrament for the first Sunday as well. I haven't prepared the Sacrament or blessed it in such a long time. Wow I was happy to be doing it again. It was a fun first day.

My district leaders responsibilities are becoming easier and easier and pretty fun too. Its a lot to juggle with training and all too, but wow I have been learning to do my best and let the Lord cover the rest of it.  Just like you said mom. It really does work. So thank you.

Awesome week, thanks for the prayers. I can really feel them.

Elder Sumsion

Zone leader Elder Novokovich. Five guys behind us. Yeah just living the good life out here in Jersey