Saturday, July 26, 2014

Short Hills - OUT ONE YEAR!!

Hola Familia!

This week was super good and uplifting. We have been tearing it up out here and now we are seeing some people start to change. Its been a rewarding week. We have been doing all we can to start getting a few more new investigators. Lots of work and lots of prayer. We have been working with our members a little more too. I just love the branch here.

I went on exchange this past week with Elder Beard, our zone leader, from Alta high school. Nice kid. We get along very well. He came out a transfer after me and is a true leader. He is super obedient and just always having fun and laughing. We always have the same ideas about stuff and how missionaries are pretty up-tight about themselves at times. Missionaries need to learn to relax and have fun. Be obedient of course, but make your mission enjoyable. Its been a big blessing to serve around him and Elder Augustine, our other zone leader. We have had some good conversations that have really changed my perspective on things about a mission.

We got to help out with a primary/missionary activity in Scotch Plains last week. It was all the primary kids of the lower part of the stake. It was a big Saturday event. All the primary kids did a couple of skits. Then us missionaries each did our own skits with our districts. Our district invited up kids to come knock a door and be a missionary and see who was on the other side. It was pretty funny. These kids were pretty adorable. Ha they did so well though. Then we helped them make little name tags and helped them all tie ties. It was super successful.

Teaching the Primary kids how to tie a tie
Hugo on the left is who Elder Sumsion baptized first

We taught Vi---  again this past week. He works quite a bit so he still hasn't been able to come to church. He is doing good though. We have been teaching a less active man from Mexico, named Serafin. He is a stud. He has a strong testimony and real desires to come back. He just works a lot too. Never seen people work so hard in my entire life. He also fed us so wicked good Mexican food.

We contacted a lady on the street in West Orange a few weeks ago named Carmen. She is pretty old. Like 82. But she let us in and her husband wasn't too interested but she listened up. We have a return appointment to see her this next week.

We had interviews today with President and Sister Taggart. Ha they are awesome. President Taggart was super serious and focused in the interview. He gave some great advice to help the area. But in the interview with sister Taggart I swear we were just talking and laughing. We talked about everything. Home. The old Snyderville ward. She is the best. Its nice to be so close to them both. Its so easy to talk to them and just be friends with them. I love it.

New Mission President's wife (and our dear friend) Sister Jane Taggart

Things are good. Thanks for the package. I hit my halfway point this week! Pretty nuts. Time is flying by cant believe it. BTW I don't know if that July 8th date is 100% set. It should be that week or the next.

Have fun in Idaho! Ha

Nice job Sam on the Eagle Project! Way to finish it up. you have a few days to spare before you hit the big 16!! Love you bro.

Love you all,

Elder Sumsion

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Short Hills Week 9 - Mission Week 51

Ben told us that his release date is July 8, 2014 so he officially has less than a year left even though his year mark out is THIS week!  Wahoo.

Awesome week this past week. We had to dig deep and keep working through the rain and heat, but we had so much fun through it all. We are really seeking to find new people to teach. We shuffled through a few of our investigators at the beginning of this last transfer so that we could find some new people. And because of that, things have been pretty slow the last few weeks. We have torn our area book apart and organized it a few times this past week and went over all the former investigators and a lot of the potentials.

 We had been doing everything we knew how to do. But we felt like there was something more. So yesterday we went up to West Orange. We only have one  member family up there who we visit on Sunday. Probably my favorite family I have met out here. They have 2 sons. One is home and the other is at BYU-I. They are Peruvian and just the nicest and funniest people. I always feel at home at their house. Well we went there and then started trying a few less actives and former investigators. We were contacting people as we walked from house to house and they were so ready to listen to us. We have a few lessons set up this week. West Orange is pretty far from where we live so I feel like missionaries in the past have sort of neglected it. I didn't even go there much last transfer. But that place is a gold mine! Its a lot more hood than summit where we normally work. I feel like the reason we have been struggling the last few weeks is so that we would make our way to the edge or our area and go to West Orange. God has been preparing people for us this whole time! A quote from one of the missionaries in my last district: Sometimes were not being rejected, but simply being redirected. So true!

But things are seriously getting good. Me and Elder Lopez get along so well. We are so similar and both of us have been working hard. The best part is that we can always get each other to laugh during those hard days. I have never laughed so much my whole mission. This transfer I have never grown so much and been so happy at the same time. We are just doing work and laughing as we go.  When things are getting tight or I'm getting stressed I keep in my mind the phrase, "Its all good." Laughing is a stress-killer. This work is supposed to be happy.

We got to meet President and Sister Taggart this past week. Our zone and the Morristown zone all met in the Morristown Chapel. So there was like 50 of us missionaries. The Taggarts each stood up and talked to us. And President Taggart gave us his vision of this mission and what is sort of 'focus' is. They are awesome. So so so different but so perfect for this mission. Things are awesome with them here. He wants to focus a lot more on making spiritual connections and being creative and not getting into a routine. It will be good.

We taught Vi--- again this last week. He is doing great. We had brother Boggio come with us as well. We taught the Restoration to him using the pamphlets. He is just the most chill guy. Probably like 50 or so. But he is so sincere and humble. Just seeking the truth. Keep him in your prayers.

Happy to see things are good at home. Thanks for the package of cookies! We loved it. Glad you got to see my companions and Presdient and Sister Jeppson.(We went to his previous mission president's homecoming)  I bet it was awesome. Nice job Sam playing tennis against grandpa. He is good!

Love you,

Elder Sumsion

7-11 Slurpee day!

Tracting in the pouring rain!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Short Hills Week 8 - Mission week 50

Elder Sumsion will reach his one year mark (HALF WAY) on July 24th - I am sure he would love a letter from you.

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

Hello family!

This week was a good week. We had a lot of little success and had tons of fun doing it. We have been pulling tons to increase a few of our numbers and find some more prepared people. About 3 of our investigators dropped us, so that was a little tough. I have learned a lot from Elder Lopez about inviting versus forcing the Gospel on people. We are inviting missionaries not forceful missionaries. Obviously, we have to take control of situations at times and be persistent with people, but you can't change someone's heart against there own will. They are going to have to let the good in themselves. All we offer is more love and more happiness. Sometimes I feel like "Come on people. This stuff is going to make you happier not hold you back." I wish people just saw that more. I wish I saw that more. The only way to be happy is to do whats right- live what Christ says. Somehow we all just forget that at times.

Yes we moved this past week! Our new apartment is way cool. Our last one was massive but our new one is kind of like living in the barn. Its all one room. with a small bedroom and bathroom of to the side. We also have access to a spiral staircase up to the attic (super nice still) where we set up a exercise/weight room. Its pretty fun. The move took a lot of time this past week, so were happy its done and we can get back to full work.

On Tuesday we visited with one of our investigators, Al---, and his son was there as well. We taught them both a little about the Book of Mormon and invited them to read it. Randomly, the son Ale--- (20 or so) has Mormon friends that go to BYU, but never talked much about the Book of Mormon with them. They are awesome and are seeking the truth. I really want to help them see these blessings. They have some real potential.

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it, but every Thursday we have a no-driving-day where we get to walk all day. I love it, walking days are my favorite because you get to be out and run into random people in the streets. But we had a walking day on Thursday and we were about 2 miles from home and it starting raining so hard. We had nothing. NO umbrella or jacket. We didn't even have any members nearby or less actives or investigators. We ended up just walking and we got drenched from head to foot. We even tried knocking a few more doors in the area before it was night and time to hear home. Oh we were just laughing the whole way home. We were walking through like 3 inches of water all the way home. It was a mess but we loved it.

** We have been working more with members lately. Our favorite lesson is we start with a picture of this 1970's car production line and explain how every part of the line is important for the car to work at the end. We have to prepare each part so it is ready in the end. Then we read Alma 37:6-7 and talk about small and simple things bring to pass great things. And then we help them thinking of ways they can prepare their friends to learn about the Gospel. They are loving it!

For the 4th of July, we were allowed to be out until 11:00 so we got to go see some fireworks. The town of Summit has some money so they had a nice long firework show. The rest of the zone came up and watched it with us. Pretty fun. Im glad to hear the PC parade is still going strong and helping out at the Scout breakfast too. Nice work Sam. 

Things are going good here. Super hot lately. Hopefully that will spark some desire to get in the cool waters of baptism. Ha

Also pretty funny, yesterday we were in Elder's quorum in church and the teacher was talking about ranking how well the class was doing on their home teaching. 1 being low and 10 being the highest. There were a few 1's a few 0's. Elder Lopez and I said " I think were at a 10" with a fist pound to each other and the whole class started laughing. I love being a missionary.

Love you all,
 Elder Sumsion