Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ironbound Week 17 - A rollercoaster week!

Okay when I talk about crazy weeks..... This just took the crown from them all. Some of the weirdest and craziest moments of my mission just got slammed into a single week and capped off. Forget the rest of the last 21 months and check this out. The saddest part is that it wasn't even about proselyting or anything cool like that. But Check this out!

Well being a boss mission president like he is, President Taggart (and I'm sure Sister Taggart had a big say in this all, too) made a new rule about 6 months ago about how every missionary is allowed to go to six flags ONCE in their mission???? What in the world??? So at first I was like not too stoked about it. Just like whatever I'll just go later after the mission or something because me time is short and I don't want to go down and be in that crazy place as a missionary! Well somehow F---- and P--- found out about it like a week ago and man they wanted to go soooooooooooo bad with us. We were debating it for sooo long. So finally I went on a three way conference call with E Bellavance and E Warnock and were debating it still and finally we were just like: okay fine LETS DO IT. So yes on thursday we went to six flags. Totally legal. Totally okay with Presidents permission, but still was weird. But at the same time it was so much fun! Haha 5 of us missionaries went down with them and we got to hit all the crazy roller coasters???? Who would have ever thought I'd go on a roller coaster as a missionary??????? Haha it was a joke but so fun. F---- and P---- had a blast and were super happy that we all went with them. They are an awesome family. SO yeah that was part ONE of the week.

Part TWO!!! We get home from six flags on time and get to a lesson. We teach the lesson and the other Elders (E Warnock and E Pacheco) drive us home. Well we are making a turn and BOOM. We get T-boned in the middle of the intersection. HARD. We slide all the way across the intersection and up onto the sidewalk and stop. Airbags went off and two crunched cars remained. It was nuts. We were all like what in the world just happened? Everyone is OKAY!!!!! E Warnock got the worst of it and his shoulder hurts but nothing is broken! I am fine. like 100% I felt like my insides got crushed right when it happen. But I have no symptoms at all. My neck muscles dont even hurt. So yeah we got hit but we are all okay. E Pacheco was driving. I was in the back left seat in the car. E Pacheco feels super sad about it, but we just kept telling him its okay. Because nobody got hurt. It was two 19 year old girls in the other car. They were fine too. The cops came, the fire trucks, and eventually they towed both the cars. All this happened at like 9:15 PM and we left the scene at like 11:00 PM and walked over to this McDonalds and called this member who owns a Taxi business and he came and drove us home. We got home at like 11:20 and all of us just sat there for like 30 minutes, blank stares, like wow that could have been a lot worse! We just totaled two cars! We finally got to bed and yeah everything is back to normal now. We are all good! 

Well besides getting our bodies thrown around intentionally and unintentially this week, we did see some other miracles too. We gave a member a blessing this week right before his surgery and after his surgery went awesome and he is good now! Went on exchange with our District Leader and we saw tons of our investigators and recent converts. Haha (when I say DL I mean Elder Warnock). Saw some miracles on that exchange. One of our awesome member families invited M--- (recent convert) over for an FHE and did a great job helping him feel included. We all ate cuero after. We had one of the most spiritual district meeting of my mission last week. Tons of good trainings from the older missionaries. I gave a 25 min one on MIRACLES. Haha waddayaknow??  We found anew Uruguay investigator this week. Helped F----- prepare to teach gospel principles this last sunday. She did awesome! We have been focusing on reading the Book of Mormon in the lessons with a few of our investigators. Stuffed out of our minds on Saturday. Had a great less active family come to church! and saw a less active last night that we have been trying for a while. Good week.

We are as tired as ever. but we are alive, okay, and happy representatives of the Lord, Jesus Christ. This is His work. And we have the blessing to be part of it. God protects his missionaries!! I promise mom. We are good!

Well things are going solid. Thanks for the prayers. I love you all so much.

Elder Sumsion

I will send some more photos next week. Pablo has a lot on his camera. Here is the beast. THE KINGDA KA. Tallest Roller Coaster in the WORLD. 126 MPH- our tags would've blown right off.  I have wanted to ride this for the past 5 years. When I first saw where it was I thought, "Jersey??? When am I ever going to be in Jersey???". haha oh how things have changed...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ironbound Week 16 - Mother's Day


Wow it was so great to see you yesterday. I am sooo glad it all worked out so easily too. F---- and P--- were the best and had the ipad and the computers all charging when we got there and the internet was pretty smooth. Just all around very easy and simple and it all connected and he let me use his skype account, which was  a blessing. But man, I had a good time talking to you and seeing your faces. It was fun to see you and then Chloe on the phone. Alexis had our own time (saw each other last week) so its good. Haha But thanks for making it such a good call. I felt great during and great after. It was good to talk over some plans but I feel great today and focused so a few more months of blowing NJ up with the Gospel!

I guess I explained a lot of the main things we are doing and answered some questions yesterday but I didn't get to talk too much about the week we had so I will give you a rundown of it all. This week started out pretty nuts with F and P just trying to help them out. We had a lesson on Monday with them that just was kinda chaotic. It was just taking a long time so we cut somethings down and just went off the Spirit and made our lesson a little quicker and more direct. They have a lot of interest to really live the Gospel to the fullest. Its kind of interesting, they are really becoming converted and its clear that they have a real desire to live the Gospel and the laws to the fullest. So they first wanted to learn more about our modern day prophet. So we shared some scriptures about how prophets and called and share our testimonies with them. Next time we are going to watch his biography movie with them. But they are just the happiest family and the greatest. We love them!

We had zone meeting on Tuesday which was awesome. Our zone leaders are great. Yes they are younger than a lot of us but man they are some powerful missionaries. I love listening to their trainings. They are definitely inspired and bring a lot of energy to the zone. We love them. They talked about finding new people this last week. President wants us finding more people and dropping more people if they aren't willing to progress. That way we cylce through people faster and as we meet new people we have a better chance to meet prepared people that will listen to our message and ACT. Two lines in PMG have stuck out to me lately:

  “Find Them That Will Receive You.” You are to build up the Church by finding “them that will receive you” (D&C 42:8). Such people will recognize that you are the Lord’s servants. They will be willing to act on your message." -Preach My Gospel

So we are really looking for those who really want to make those commitments and act. Yes we still work with everyone but our focus is on those people who are in desperate need of just some light in their life but are “kept from the truth [only] because they know not where to find it” (D&C 123:12). Its a good focus because we know there are people out there that are ready. Sometimes they dont even know they are ready but that's why we are called so that we can share with them this good news.

We have a great teaching pool of investigators. We only got to see a handful of them this last week. One of them is this atheist lady I was telling you about. We taught her on Friday and wow it was one of the best lessons I have been a part of. My testimony of the Gospel was strengthened, maybe even more than hers. We started off with her teaching the restoration and within 30 seconds she had tons of questions and opposition and yeah it was just a mess. I was thinking, "Ok this lady obviously has no desires to learn this stuff and she is opposing everything. And just bringing up random topics, we are going to teach this lesson and maybe it will be our last with her." But we kept praying and wow the lesson turned around as we discussed why false doctrine is there and we were here to teach God's restored truth. It was awesome. We walked away with a good spirit and we will see her again.

Anyways. Love the phone call yesterday. What a car!!! Cant believe it Sam. haha and I love you all so much!

Elder Sumsion

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ironbound Week 15

Hello family,   5/4/2015

We are having a great time here in New Jersey and the weeks are just getting better and better. We have a big mission focus on finding new people to teach right now. I'd say that is one of the toughest challenges of missionary work, especially here in Jersey. Finding people that will listen is hard, finding people who will actually progress and keep commitments is beyond that. We made an all mission goal to find a good amount of people in April and we made a few district goals. So this last week we did tons of talking to people in the streets and made so many calls, and even knocked a few doors. Things we usually do but we just stepped up the level a lot. Finding is pretty interesting because it has soooooo much to do with your faith. Honestly a missionary could go out and work as hard as he needs and talk to hundreds of people everyday, and still find nobody. Like it says in Alma 26, God grants missionaries success. The missionaries dont create their own success, it comes from God. Thats why we do our best to focus on truly being worthy and listening to the Spirit throughout the day. If we believe it can happen, it can happen. God knows which people are ready, and he will let us know.

So we found a lady this past week. We contacted her on the street last Sunday. She is atheist and was like, "No, im really not that interested sorry." We pretty much just said with smiles on our faces, "Come on just let us come over just once and see how you like it." She agreed and gave us her address and number. We set a lesson with her and she juked but this past Saturday we were walking by and knocked her door and she was there. We asked pretty upfront and direct, "Can we share something with you? Right now?" She agreed and we taught her on her porch. Wow, I remember thinking, "What on earth are we supposed to teach her, let alone, start out with?" We basically just became familiar with her beliefs and then things just started clicking together. We felt inspired to share the Plan of Salvation pamphlet with her. We did come across a similar belief: We both believe in THIS life.... Haha we explained where we came from and why were here and where we are going. And we just bore testimony about families, because we saw her kids through the door. Her husband is atheist as well. I dont know what happened but something hit her, and before we could ask if we could return and share more with her family, She asked us, "So when can you guys come back?" So sweet. So we are seeing her this next week. The Spirit guided that lesson.

Well turns out this past week, one of our other recent convert couples started having problems. F----- and P----. They are one of my favorite families here on the mission. Super strong and love joking around and laughing with us. Its them two and their little daughter. Great family but man, some more problems. We had a great lesson with them last night and we were going to read part of this Chapter in 3 Nephi 18, but the Spirit told us to share the whole thing so we did. So we read verse by verse with them in a circle and some random scripture in the middle of it really hit home to them and they just told us what was going on a little bit. They are really seeking to follow all the commandments, and its pretty obvious that satan is opposing them. Man, we just bore powerful testimony and told them how much we love them and how much God loves them. Things are going to be alright! 

Had interviews this last week with President. It was great and I learned a lot. He is a great man. 

We had stake conference this past week as well. Sang in the stake choir. WHAT????...... WHY??? Well they pretty much made us... Agency was taken... I still dont like to sing... so that part about me still hasn't changed... 

Ha no riots in Jersey. Just a protest. Life is good

Love you tons.
Elder Sumsion

Noche de Talentos - She did a Honduras dance.

Notice the words on the shirt - ha!  She said she had no idea where she got it.

Our temple trip last week.