Monday, March 23, 2015

Ironbound Week 9 - Happy birthday!

March 23, 2015    THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO SENT HIM BIRTHDAY WISHES especially the dear family who made him dinner and the cute Primary kids and leaders in New Jersey!!!

Awesome members made him this great cake!  SUD stands for

santos de los ultimos dia! (latter day saints)

Just want to start off and say thank you for all the birthday wishes! It was seriously an awesome day! I loved all the goodies in the package you sent. I decided to share a lot of it with others in the zone too. I cant eat all that myself so I let others enjoy it with me. I saved the good stuff so no worries. Haha nah I'm messing. But seriously I loved it and felt all your love. It was a pretty great birthday. On Thursday night these one members invited us over. Holy smokes it was so legit. They went and bought this super nice cake for me! Check out the pictures. Man, I almost felt guilty it was so legit. They had balloons. And then they made us a super good meal. Rice with bacon in it? Sweet chicken. and some shrimp salad. It was unreal how good it tasted. So definitely felt the love that night. On Friday, the 20th my actual birthday, we had a big meeting in Morristown for all the new missionaries and trainers. Some of the zone leaders were there as well so I got to see E. Bellavance because he is still a zone leader, Elder King, my old zone leader, and some old companions too! The meeting was good and learned a lot. Super long! Haha but we did tons of role plays and listened to a bunch of trainings. Then that night, turned out the the primary was working on their duty to God requirements about service. So they threw a big surprise party for all us missionaries in the Spanish ward (10 of us!) and one of the little girls in the primary had her birthday the same day as well. So we celebrated together. They sand happy birthday, shared some service scriptures with us, played games, and gave us dinner! It was awesome. So it was a super happy birthday. 

Cute Primary and Elder Sumsion and Elder Warnock.  So sweet!

Craziest week in a LONG time though. Turns out E. Marque foot has been hurting him pretty bad so he called the mission nurse and doctor and they just wanted him to go get an x-ray of it. So we spent all morning on Wednesday getting that and talking to doctors. They didn't see anything wrong. At first they wanted him to be off his feet for a few days. haha we explained that really wasn't possible and no way we are staying inside for a week. I would die. So they recommended we go see a podiatrist to see if he can do something. We go there Thursday morning. Turns out its the day the doctor called in sick. So we weren't able to see him but the other doctor gave him a boot to wear around. (He has called like a million doctors. Ha) So he has been wearing that until we can get a new appointment with the podiatrist. So we have been running around to doctors appointments and pharmacies all week. SO that added to the craziness of the week as well. Luckily, we have been doing our best to get more rides to places so he won't have to walk on his foot as much.

Also, we have M--- who was supposed to get baptized this week which didn't happen. With the craziness of our week and the craziness of his, we just weren't able to see him enough.

Spent a little while this past week as well planning out college stuff too. It feels weird to be planning for college classes and stuff but hey its gotta be done. I have been talking to tons of missionaries to see what advice they give for classes as well. So I have it sorta figured out. I read a ton of stuff on the college websites so its been making a little more sense. Still have no idea what Im in for next year! Haha I have it laid out a little though. Praying a lot about it so things should be sweet this fall!

We didn't get our sushi run in yet. Hopefully this next week!

Thanks for everything. I am doing great and super happy! I think spring is finally here. It was 28 this morning but its sunny now. 

I love you,

Elder Sumsion

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ironbound Week 8 - BIRHTDAY THIS WEEK

Hello Family!   March 16, 2015

Can I just start off by saying thanks for all the birthday love! (HIS BIRTHDAY IS FRIDAY 20th) I love reading all these emails and seeing the pictures. I am just grateful for such an amazing family. Seriously, thank you for always making me happy. I love you!!!
We had quite the week. Super busy with all our meetings and studies and lessons. I dont even know how to jam this all into one email but Ill pick out the highlights for you. Things are going great with training. Its crazy how much different I am training now than I did before. Before I was just so young and was still learning everything myself Ha! Luckily, Elder Class and I got along great and we learned together and I did my best to teach him what I knew. Ha he was a champ. Speaking of him, I saw him the other day at our meeting. He is getting old haha he already has 14 months on the mission! With Elder Marquez, its different because he is pretty mature and I feel like we just our a normal companionship. He struggles a lot with Spanish. I am teaching about 90% of things right now but we are working little by little so he can teach more. But besides that we are just working great together. He is really good at strategy and read all sorts of books about it at home. I am learning a ton from him about it too. So we bounce ideas off each other all the time. I think it was a bit of a shock for him to see how different the wards were here than in Utah and California. Same church but different people. Thats for sure. We have been teaching and walking tons! I'm afraid we may have walked to hard the first few weeks. His right foot and knee is starting to hurt him a lot. Snap...

We had a sweet  all mission conference this past week. It actually was just the Northern half of the mission. It was nice to see all my old mission friends. A lot of my Jersey City zone was there too, so we got to catch up on things. I think one reason I got called to this mission was the social aspect of things. Our mission is super tight and there are a lot of missionaries in a really small area. We see other missionaries almost every single day. It would be weird to me to feel so isolated. Like right now for example, there are 8 of us missionaries in the library emailing! Ha between the Portuguese branch, the English branch, and the Spanish ward on Sunday, there are over 20 missionaries! We all share the same building so we are all there at the same time. Obviously when its time to work, we work! but its nice to be around so many awesome missionaries during meetings and church. Its a blessing to me. At the mission conference, they talked a lot about what it really means to 'receive the Holy Ghost.' You don't necessarily get the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost with you when you get confirmed, but through your righteous actions God will give you the Holy Ghost to guide you. It was a cool new way to look at things. We are just trying to find a way to get more convert retention in the mission. It was a solid meeting.

M--- is doing great. He is accepting of everything. We have his baptism for this weekend. It is dependent on his work schedule though. We need to see him a few more times before Sunday but lately his work has been making him work late. We cant really see him past 7:30 because it takes us an hour to walk home from his house. We do tons of walking. I am used to it, but I can tell its eating away at my comp. So we are looking into the bus schedule. The problem is is that at night, all sort of transportation is slower than walking here. But M--- is doing great. We have been bringing a few members over to get to know him more.

The real question is food. Everyday we ask ourselves ok are we going to get fed today or not. Ha its like completely random with the members. One day we will be starving and the next we will be stuffed out of our minds. Ha cant we just get some balance here? Ha its pretty funny.

I love hearing how you are all doing. Thank you for the emails! I love them. Thank you for the letter each week as well mom. I know that might be a lot of work. Thank you for it! 

We have half the ward wanting to feed us for my birthday! One member is making dinner for us on Thursday. Some two solid recent converts are taking us to get Mexican food on the 20th! And I have been dying for SUSHI, ha so I might go grab some if we get a moment. We found a cheap place. Thank you. Your love and support is means more than anything I could ask for. 

Love you,

Elder Sumsion

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Happy birthday next week...

Elder Sumsion's  birthday is Friday the 20rh I am sure he would love a letter from his friends!  Thank you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ironbound Week 7 - Trainer

How it going family! Quite the week we just had. Pretty busy and lots of work to get done! Training is going awesome. My new companion is Elder Marquez from Sacramento, California, and truly already a solid missionary. He is very smart and likes thinking things though very detailed. So he brings tons of awesome ideas, most of them I am like wow never thought of doing that! He sees a need or a problem and then thinks of tons of solutions to get it done. So its been going good. His dad is from Columbia and mom from California and all the members think he Mexican, its pretty funny. He didn't speak any Spanish with his dad at home so he is still learning a lot. But we well get his Spanish rolling in no time. For now, I have had to do a lot of the talking and teaching and doing my best to get him more involved in lessons and Spanish situations. We get an extra  hour of comp study so we are doing tons of role plays to get it going. I have no doubt he will be a boss missionary in no time because he pretty much already is!

 The zone got changed up a ton too. A lot of fun missionaries came/stayed in the Newark zone. Elder Nelson stayed as zone leader here which I am grateful for. Elder Sales, my old district leader stayed. Elder Warnock came here. He has been a good friend since the beginning. We served as zone leaders at the same time and he served as a zone leader with Elder Aspinall, so we all talked and hung out a lot. He is from Bountiful. His dad is Brent Warnock, his dad went to Viewmont? I dont know if you know him, dad. But a boss. Sister Josse (the one who has her aunt in Park City who you went to visit mom) came to the zone too. I dont know if you really know any of these people I mentioned. haha probably not. But to make things simple: I am surrounded by boss missionaries and some good friends. Starting with my comp so things are good.

We taught M--- a few times this past week. Went through a lot of the commandments with him. I think Elder Marquez was pretty excited to teach him too because we do a lot of less active work here so he was pumped to go see an investigator and a progressing one too! We taught him the Gospel, 10 commandments (with handsigns to remember), follow the prophet, and law of chastity. He accepted them all and doing great. We may have to move his baptism back a week. We haven't been able to see him as much as we would like because he randomly gets called into work or his home late from work. He didn't make it to church this last week. But he has such strong desires. We are seeing miracles with him. He lives pretty far from our house. Its like a hike to get home sometimes. We are looking into the bus schedule but the traffic moves really slow here and it'll probably be faster walking anyway. 

We ate Cuy for the first time last night. (Shout out to Elder Peters!) I have been dying to try it here. It is an Ecuadorian dish. Its pretty much Guinea Pig but a little bigger than the ones here in america. This stuff was imported from Ecuador. The members that fed it to us said that they tasted better from Ecuador, so they had their family send some. Pretty good, tasted like BBQ pork but a little tangier flavor. A lot of bone and skin and not a lot of meat. But the stuff you could get off was good. They are some boss members named Fanny and Pablo. They were baptized a year ago or so. He was a professional shoe shiner so he also gave us a quick shoe shine for free! ha they are the best.

We have been looking for more people to teach. Story of my mission. Story of every mission. We have been walking a lot and trying tons of people. We weren't able to find any last week but a few potentials. The weather has been weird. Snow then sunny then snow then sunny. After daylight saving yesterday it felt like summer just hit. It is pretty warm now outside. I love the feeling of being able to proselyte at 7 and its still bright outside. In the winter it gets dark at like 4:30. So it really feels like spring is coming which is scary because its almost my last season here. I read this in the Bible last week as I was studying Matthew, made my heart jump :

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:"

Haha Jesus just reminded me to keep working hard until the end.

Doing great, working hard. Thanks for the food and handwarmers! I am soooo glad you got some skiing in and got to go with the Harris too. Sam, your outfit looks fresh. Cant wait to shred with you.  And sooo pumped that the stake ice skating turned out good. I am praying for you all. Thank you for being such a heavenly family. You mean so much to me!

I love you all,

Elder Sumsion