Monday, July 6, 2015

"The End"

Dear family and friends,
 Thank you for being interested in our son Elder Sumsion.  We are so grateful for your prayers and emails and packages and well wishes for him.  We cannot thank you enough.  Here it is drawing to a close.  He will be home Wednesday.  While we are SOOOO excited we can hardly stand it, our hearts aches a little for him as I can feel his pain of leaving a life and service he has grown to love.  All I can say is to add my testimony in tears that I believe with all my heart that this work is divine and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way for us to be truly happy now and in the future.  It is a Pearl of Great Price and I cherish it and am grateful to have this knowledge in my life.  I am so grateful for the man Elder Sumsion has become and I will be forever grateful for his willingness to serve the Lord in a most unselfish way while smiling through the hard times.  He sent a very sweet personal note of his gratitude for all of us.  I love his reference to soccer.
Kristen Sumsion

Last Email from Elder Sumsion:

July 6, 2015 

Well I can definitely say that was one CRAZY week. Probably one of the hardest weeks of my entire mission. Hard but good. I cant believe its the end, I mean I always realized it would come someday but now it is weird to see it in full. Wednesday was rough. Really rough. I had my last departing interview and just had to pray a lot after that. But the peace came. Like it always has and like it always does. A way of God telling me he is there. The same peace I have felt thousands of times on my mission.

But boy does it feel good to have just left it out all in the field. I feel like coming out of one of my soccer games in high school. Dead tired, feet aching, shins all cleated-up. But a smile on my face. Its sad to be leaving all this, but at the same time it feels good. A peaceful good.

I will be forever grateful for the last two years. And for everything that has happened. The people I have met and the friends I have made. And for the person I have become. This last week I realized how much I have truly grown and changed. It truly is because of the Savior and what he has done for me. What a blessing a mission truly is.

Thank you family. Mom and Dad, Sam, Alexis, Chloe. And all my friends and leaders at home. 

Guess this is it. 

Its all good in the hood,

Love ya!

Elder Sumsion


Where is the GOOD, without the HOOD???? haha 

Notice the text - East to West - love it!  Here he comes!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ironbound Week 23 - ONE WEEK TO GO!!!

Well started off the week good with hitting the temple on Tuesday as part of the departing trip. It was a great trip and nice to be with the Elders and Sisters from the group. Although I really only came out with Elder Packer, I have grown to love these other Elders and we have become good friends. We all hopped in the mission vans on Tuesday morning, sister Taggart driving one and President Taggart in the other, and went through the Lincoln tunnel to NYC and had a wonderful time at the temple. Then afterwards we got to meet a member of the mission presidency and we got to ask him questions about all sorts of stuff. After that we went to Central Park to eat lunch and enjoy the nature and grass there. Overall it was a good trip. I felt good and not too weird.
We get to the temple and the Taggarts break the news to us: "We have been encouraging you to not think about home for the past year and even before that, but now its time that we WANT you to get trunky and start thinking about home and making plans..." WHAT? haha no way.... We were not expecting them to say that at all.

Then, yesterday was our big Statue of Liberty day with the departing missionaries and the Taggarts. We hit up Ellis Island first and got to take the ferry over. I do remember going there a few years ago but I couldn't remember much so I got to see it all again. Then we went to the Statue of Liberty, which I guess is actually in New Jersey (and Ellis Island) and we got to climb up to the base of it. It was a beautiful day and sunny but not hot or humid and there was a gentle breeze in the air. It felt so good to just be up there looking out over Jersey and NYC and think about all that has gone down over there and all the stories. And so we just stayed up there for a while and didn't even go into the museum below. Then we went over to the huge cathedral in Newark. Ha it was sweet to check out and we got to sing some hymns together as a group.
And that brings me to today. We had zone meeting today and I learned a ton again and excited to use it this last week. Then we do this thing in this mission called a 'Hot Seat' where the departing missionaries sit in these chairs (usually like a couch or armchair) in front of all the other missionaries in the zone and the zone members just get to ask us whatever questions they want. Usually its all about stories and scary things and funny things. Like the ones that were asked today were: scariest moment in the mission? Craziest contact? Most awkward Elder/Sister moment? Craziest thing that has happened when an investigator is at church? haha so just random stuff like that and we tell our stories. Then it moves to more spiritual stuff like: Most spiritual lesson? Or Who did you come to New Jersey for? and then we bear our testimonies. haha the whole things last usually like 45 to an hour. It was pretty fun and funny today. Its amazing how many crazy thing we experience on a mission. Especially in Jersey.
If you want, we can have a mini one at home. Ha
Well we are actually finding some great new people and are working with them. One of them was some less active lady named M--- who came to church a few weeks ago. Turns out she has real desires to come back and has a non member boyfriend who she lives with. We went and saw them both last night. Chileans. Of course we walk in 15 min into the Peru vs Chile Copa America game last night!!!!!!!!!! Its the semifinals and no way this guy is turning off the tv. Haha so we just did our best to chat with him but he was pretty into the game and so we talked with his wife a bit, doing our best to not watch the darn tv. I knew our only break was halftime so right before halftime, we asked them if we could share something and they were cool with it. So we taught them about the Book of Mormon and reading and praying. He has the right desire but not the faith to do things, he said. But we will be working with them throughout the week.
D--- is doing great. We see him like 2-3 times a week. But only once last week. He is really taking off and just becoming his true self. It has been the biggest miracle to see in this area. So grateful the Lord allowed me to be part of it all. He heads over to Nevada on Thursday. So tomorrow will be the last day to see him.
We had a big all mission fireside on Sunday. Got to see S--- again for the last time! I called her up before and invited her and she came! It was so good to see her and say good bye. Man it feels like ages ago I was there in Perth Amboy. Saw E Bellavance and a few old comps as well. Good to see them.
Well this is it. Last week. Doing my best to do work and focus. Tonight we are sleeping over with the other elders and then tomorrow morning three of us drive to the mission home for our departing interviews. Pretty weird. feeling good but freaking out at the same time. haha nah Im doing fine, just weird to see the end.
Thanks for the love. ill answer those questions in another email.
Love yalls, be safe. Im praying for ya.
Elder Sumsion