Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ironbound Week 2 - last 3 weeks of letters



Hola Familia,
Wow what a long last week is has been. Seriously yesterday morning feels like it was months ago. Im in a whole different world right now. Newark, NJ. Got transferred. I will attempt at explaining the last week or so. So much happened.
On thursday afternoon we got a call from the Assistants that we were getting doubled out of our area in Jersey City. Which means that both Elder Bellavance and I were going to have toleave the area. The mission is getting less and less missionaries so what happened is that they closed the zone and combined it with the Union City zone where Elder Packer is. Super hard news to hear. Our zone was so tight. I love that zone so much. Happiest time of my mission so far and it was so hard to leave them all thats for sure. On Sunday night I got released as a zone leader, which was expected because most zone leaders are zone leaders for about 4 transfers. So yesterday, Tuesday, came around and we had transfer conference. We had 8 missionaries leaving and only 5 cars in the zone. So we had to use every inch of every car to get everyone and their stuff to transfer conference. Elder Bellavance got called to Paterson. I got called to the IRONBOUND. Such an amazing area. Its on the side of Newark and just the coolest place. Not too dangerous so no worries. But then we had district meetings this morning and I just got to sit and listen instead of trying to organize the whole thing! ha something I haven't got to do in a while. And that pretty much brings me to where I am now, emailing in the Kearny library. Crazy last few days.
Let me just write my farewell talk to Jersey City here. Ha I love that place so much. I kept telling Elder Bellavance I could've stayed there the rest of my mission. The ward, the people, the graffiti. All of it amazing. And oh my goodness the zone was just the best zone ever. We were small so we were all nice and tight and close. I love them all so much. Hard to leave them all and to see the zone get dissolved, but then again most of the zone got transferred anyway. Actually two of the championships got their zone boundary changed so The Bayonne missionaries are still in my zone here in Newark. It was super nice to see them today. They are all good friends to me. Elder Bellavance was a boss companion too. Ha he kept me laughing for dayz. Such a fun time. Sad to leave but super pumped for my new area.

Ok you know me mom. I still hate changes! Ha it has been crazy getting used to the new area. Haven't even been here for 24 hours yet. Feel pretty weird inside. Lonely from the last zone.But wow when I heard I was going to Ironbound I was so surprised! It is an area with a lot of potential. Its called ironbound because its bound by iron. Ha meaning that it is surrounded my a train tracks built on a wall. Tons of Hispanics and it is like the Portuguese capital of Jersey too. I heard some Portuguese today and I swear its like Chinese. Ha Lots of Brazilians and lots of people from Portugal. It is sweet. My companion is pretty fresh out.  He is on his 5th transfer now. Still learning Spanish and the area so its kind of like starting fresh. We are going to get this place rollin though. We are walking for dayz as well. No car anymore.
I am loving it so far. Seriously got has answered all of my prayers. I asked for a solid area, a young companion, and some cool members, and a sweet zone. Seriously I was pretty specific in my prayers, knowing that realyl wherever I go will be good. But wow God answered my prayers perfectly. This place is heaven.
Love Elder Sumsion

My buddy - Elder Vargas went home
Last Jersey City Zone 4 picture


Whats up family! What a week it has been. Tough week getting used to the area and walking again! Ha man have I been tired. I haven't been walking since Perth Amboy and that was more than a year ago. Sleep is just about my best friend right now, besides the Spirit, which are the two things helping me get through this week. It has been a crazy change going from zone leader meetings, and being with other missionaries to hitting the streets walking and focusing just on the area. But no doubt it will settle in soon. I got the flu on Saturday night as well. Woke up at like 3:30 in the morning thinking it was just food poisoning from some weird mexican dish a member fed us that previous day, but I threw up like 4 times and was pretty out of it all day. Had to miss church and pretty much just in and out of sleep for 8 hours with a gnarly stomach ache. It was rough but then at the same time it was nice to get some rest. It was a pretty hard day yesterday.

 We have been trying to learn the area really quickly because my companion has only been in the area for 1 transfer before I came in and he is pretty young and didn't know the streets nor most of the members. So its kind of been like starting a fresh area. We are a good team though and trying to nail everything down quickly so we can start seeing some people progressing in the gospel. There wasn't a whole lot of investigators when I came in and we still haven't seen any of them so we are planning to do a whole lot of contacting this week and just trying to build our teaching pool. It is fun but it is some hard work. Its weird not having a zone leader companion either that speaks good Spanish and is pretty solid in missionary work. My companion is still pretty fresh and learning Spanish so I have to do a lot of initiating things and helping him out and leading lessons. It is a good work load for me so I thank you for the prayers. They are much needed.

Ok, I feel like have left New Jersey and landed myself in some foreign world or something. I feel so far away from reality, its weird. It feels way different than any other area I have had or any other place I have lived in. No white people, no black people, just Hispanics and Portuguese. Who said Portuguese sounds like Spanish? That stuff sound straight up like Chinese.. Ha I love it. 

Learned how to do my wash at a laundromat today! Walked through the snow to get there and had to wait to get it all washed. Who knew a washer and dryer at home was such a big blessing!

Things are going good. Still recovering from the flu. This week is going to be a good one, full of work.

Love the pictures of Cali! The sun looks so nice right now. This storm is starting to roll in. Snowy and windy.

Love you all so much

Elder Sumsion

View of Lower NW with Hoboken Projects


Hola Familia,

I just want to start off with a big thank you for all your prayers. They were very much needed this past week. It was a long week and we were working super hard. I am feeling a lot better and things are adjusting well to the new area. Almost got this place down. Ha just kidding but it is improving. Still have a lot of it to discover. But hey so far so hood. 

Ok so it snowed a ton this last week and it got pretty cold. But I think we get used to it pretty fast. When your out in the cold all day and everyday your body just sort of adjusts except for like the first ten minutes of every day. Then its super cold. Ha we made a companionship goal to contact at least 100 people this week. We dont have a lot of investigators so we are going out and looking for them. We completed our goal last night but it was cool because the 99th person we contacted was from Spain. I was like no way! Thats the first time in 18 months I have ever talked to a Spaniard. I was pretty pumped. He was Catholic and pretty set on his ways. We tried testifying to him and answering some questions about his brother who passed away but he wouldn't listen at all. But we are going to try and pick up some new investigators this week from all the contacts.

So big news here. The mission is changing A LOT. Its been changing almost every month. Things just getting different but we had some guy from the missionary department from SLC come this past week to see our mission and give some advice and help. I wasn't at the meeting but I heard it was pretty crazy. Just talked a lot about how to change our mission to align a few things up with Preach my Gospel. So today President Taggart announced a bunch of new rules and changes that will put our mission in more harmony with Preach my Gospel. Basically a lot about exchanges, districts meetings, zone meetings, zone activities, and a lot about accountability. Before we were accountable a lot to our leaders but they want to change it so we are ONLY accountable to the Lord. So its kind of a big change. A lot of paperwork is gone. One thing that is tough for me right now is that they are kind of taking out a lot of zone unity in the mission. Which before was a big focus in the mission culture. So a lot less social things with other missionaries. Our mission is super small with a lot of missionaries in a small area so before we would meet as a zone every week and break into districts, but now we might be with our districts only. And usually had zone activities every week on p-day, like sports of something that they want to make less frequent. I dont know. Its a lot of changes, and the mission is in a shock freaking out stage but this should all make sense in a few weeks hopefully. Pretty much the culture of the mission that has been here for the last 18 months is changing. So its a little tough for some of the older missionaries. But hey its inspired revelation so I know it will help us all out.

So ironbound is just the place to be. I love it so far. We have tons of potential and it is a blessed area with lots of members to work with. Its crazy because we have 5 missionary companionships in one ward. That is 11 missionaries because one is a trio companionship. So they had to split the areas a lot. So now there is a lot of potential in every area but some areas suffer from members. Some companionships only have 2 to 3 members to visit. The Ironbound has a ton though and Harrison as well, which we cover. So its a big boost. Meeting with members and helping them do missionary work also pumps up us missionaries because of how much excitement they have in us. 

We have an awesome recent convert family that we are working with to stay active and stay together. They just recently got married and baptized. Manuel and Soledad. They are from Ecuador. They are so fun and Manuel is a jokester as well. He helps us laugh when we are over there. They are doing great though. Always love having us over and we are making sure they are doing well. 

Sounds like we got a lot of the snow that Utah needs right now. This week sounds like we are getting more too. Today was some nasty freezing rain. Everything is frozen outside and wet. Thats one weather im not too equiped for so I may go buy a new jacket this week or some boots because as good as there echo shoes are, Water still gets in. Ha 

Love you all so much. Keep up the smiles and laughs. This is the good life - The Gospel and families.

I love you,

Elder Sumsion

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