Monday, December 19, 2011

You always know its a good day when the man your talking to puts a snowball on his head.‏

Had an interesting week yet again the Lord is still showing me that when we put the sacrifice in blessings flow.
The cold weather has been less than fun, it started snowing like crazy a couple days ago and now its mostly gone because of the rain melting it into mud. Members in our area have been going home for Christmas and there has been difficulty getting others out with us but we have been able to still get help and plus this ward is pretty much awesome. Its full of tons of Mormons in extreme debt from school loans because they are all trying to be Doctors, Dentists and Lawyers.
Our teaching pool has grown drastically, many of the people we are working with are kinda shaky because we find them on the bus mostly and we worketh in the ghetto/hood, but we are still trying our best to help them repent and change.
The coolest and most progressing investigator we have is a referral from the Shaker Heights area (the zone leaders we live with Elder Bills and Elder Hansen). His name is Chris Davis and he is basically baptizing himself, yesterday was the third time he's been to church because he went to the shaker ward twice, it's a true blessing to see the sincerity of him wanting to change his life. Yesterday at church he was looking for ample opportunities to serve the members in the ward and he even asked for help from everyone in the priesthood to help him be a better person.
We have been working with the Belle family as of late and that is where we have found most of the new investigators. There is a lot to work there and I foresee it being difficult to get them to church but they are however reading the scriptures and doing there best to follow Christ. Plus they listen very well when we come to visit. (From this house we have been working with Gloria, Arayna, Shayna, Trevonte, Rayonna, Terrance, Jamie and Brianna and I think some others but those are the only names I have). They all at different progression levels and various ages, but Arayna and Brianna I would say are progressing the most.
We have also been working with a YSA named Yonica and she has a very good head on her shoulders. She's very willing to do what we say but things keep getting in the way like sickness or just busy with finding a job. We've been doing our best to get her involved in the singles branch.
Well I love you all and I'm excited for this week. There is going to be lots of Christmas experiences to be had especially tomorrow when we all go to the Kirtland Temple for a meeting. It'll be to legit to quit.
Have a good week.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Come all ye Faithful"‏

For some reason these weeks that seem so difficult at moments, never stay that way. You can go through a day where literally you sit on a bus or a really fast train hoping for a good conversation with someone that happens to sit close to you. That is literally all you do that day at it can get quite obnoxious. However when you put in that time of hard work and getting yourself out of your comfort zone over and over again. Eventually God shows you blessings.
Some of those blessings we experienced this week consisted of an amazing dinner with the Ashworth family. They have been being a wonderful example to their neighbors and they have noticed. Bro. Ashworth served in Hong Kong and he speaks Cantonese. They introduced themselves to their chinese neighbors (the husband speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and some English. The wife speaks only Mandarin) and eventually that family came over one day with some chinese soup and asked if they could go to church with the Ashworths. They came to the ward party and to church. This week we were blessed to teach Fang and Ying Wang at the Ashworths. It went very well and despite the language barrier we both feel excited for what happens next. However the Ashworths are going to Utah this week so working with the Wangs is going to have to wait a little bit longer. It's going well this far though and I'm excited to see what happens next.
Earlier in the week we visited an investigator and we wanted to watch the restoration with her (Arayna). We got there and it's a pretty crazy atmosphere, people just come and go and we are not sure that all the people there are related or even know the people in their house. The kids were on the television playing a video game, a recent convert named LaShaun (who is truly a beacon of how the restored gospel can change a life really quickly). So LaShaun had played this game before got an idea to get the TV. He challenged the current player that if he wins we can watch this movie with everyone. Well LaShaun won and we watched the Restoration with the whole family. It was pretty funny and awesome at the same time.
Last night we went to an investigators home and we taught everyone in the house that was willing to listen. What we saw was when we spoke the kids and teenagers there had peace spoken to them. You could see in many of their eyes the need and the want to repent. It really truly is my favorite thing to see that, what the preaching of the word can do to others and how it helps them.
Also we have been working with Chabba and he came to church this week and while at church he said "I'll be coming to this church from now on." That exploded a smile onto my face.
Other blessings have been shown through the goodness and the kindness of the members you can't beat the happiness this work brings to others. It's so true. I hope that you all do your best to share the love of the Savior with others this Christmas. Don't think of yourself because you won't figure it out that way, find yourself through helping other be happy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lost in Cleveland but finding others

This week has yet again proved to be extremely difficult, I could say probably more difficult than last week. We have been cancelled on and our travel has been inconvenient and some of the people were downright rude. We were on the bus just there to talk to people and when we first got on the bus, I ended up sitting next to someone who had been in Jail for the past month. He was very humble and willing to try to change and listen. When he got off I started a conversation with another man. He turned around and asked me if I was a Mormon. Then for the next five to ten minutes he upbraided both of us and said we didn't believe in Christ and such. The humility between the two was extremely different, I know that repentance and change brings humility and that is needed to live with God.
At the beginning of the week we were lost and trying to get to someone but we really had nothing to do, so we were mostly just wandering around with no one to go see. While we were walking I saw a brother maybe a little younger than us and when I was about to turn around and talk to him. He called out to us and asked us if we knew how to help him get a job. After being in Cleveland over 4 months that isn't something you hear often. We said no but then said we know someone who might be able to help. We talked to him about what we do for a little bit and found out his name is Chabba (sounds like Sha-ba). Then I felt like being Elder Prince and I asked him if he was free right now for us to share a little message with him. We watched the restoration with him and afterwards he started to pace around the room not really sure what he was feeling. It was neat. We later in the week had a lesson with him again and we had another member with us Bro. Smith. We kinda got his mother involved and over time I think she'll come around a little bit more but her demeanor changed to longer we were there it was awesome. She went from constantly leaving the room to sitting on the couch and listening.
Sunday however was the best day of the week we had 3 lessons that day work out well and we were able to teach short lessons to really meet the needs of those people. It was all thanks to one of my favorite members in this area Bro. Webber.
Well I love you all. I'm not being transferred tomorrow. It looks like I'm going for 6 months here in the East-side of Cleveland. I'm grateful for all the experiences I've had thus far and as these last four months come keep me in your prayers.
Also a lady named Tiffany. She's awesome and would be a great asset to the church.
Love you.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, November 28, 2011

"I persisted in doing the things I felt were right." ~Bro. Paul Tippetts‏

Well to say that this week hasn't been awesome would be a lie but there has been a significant amount of difficulty. What made the week awesome was really only two very inspired days everything else was just hard work and sacrifice.
Some of the things that has really helped our area to grow is making the effort to talk to people on the bus. We've actually been getting on buses and looking for someone to talk to and doing so. It has been very helpful because you catch people in a free moment and they usually don't mind talking to you.
The best thing that has happened this week is when we went to stop by someone we tracted into named Tiffany Sumner. She is from right next to Elder Stevens home town and when we were first met her it is because Elder Stevens felt like knocking on the door while we were biking past. She was conveniently going to a wedding the next day at the LA Temple. She has tons of member friends out there. Well we stopped by and taught her and I think her mother in law. I'm not sure on that one. She seemed pretty interested in feeding us and taking the lessons.
Another cool thing that happened was a lesson with Jenny someone that Jenetta introduced us too. We went over there with the Smiths and taught them basically that they are children of God. But the cool thing was is that we taught 7 people all of whom are related to Jenny in some way. The youngest one was four and he would make adorable comments like, "So God is Santa Claus." and "So Jesus knows when you have a headache." Also Elder Stevens mentioned being taken out of the presence of God. He replied "Does God like presents too?" Just a wonderful lesson and at the end of it 7 year old girl was very eager to say the closing prayer.
There has been plenty of other people like that this week as you can see we have 9 new investigators. Some of them are pretty sketchy but God only knows the intents of their heart all we can do is teach and invite and see if they follow through with that.
I love you all to bits and don't worry I was fed Thanksgiving very well this week.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, November 21, 2011

Link to Lance's Profile on Mormon.org

http://mormon.org/me/39FW/LanceSumsion/

HAPPY TANKSGIVING!!!‏

Elder Stevens and I have really stepped up our game this week in finding people to teach. The non-members we have been helping are just not working with us. We've done a significant amount of contacting by just riding the bus system around. It just feels like a much better way to talk to someone and they usually have to listen to us for a little while and some actually like having the conversation while waiting on the bus. Also keeps us warmer : ). Getting them to commit to being taught and also being home when we come to see them has been a much different story however.
But I know eventually someone in the group of contacts will truly want to change their lives it is just a patient process. I at least know this from past experiences but especially with what has been happening with the Molina family in the Kirtland area. These sisters (one in particular) have had nobody to work with almost the entire time I've been in Cleveland. This family referred themselves and they all came to church yesterday. It's pretty amazing.
Some good things that happened this week was the baptismal interview with Barbara Dehanna in the Hiram area. She is a wonderful lady who was truly seeking the gospel and has wholeheartedly embraced it. Mario a person that we have been working with showed up late to church but he did show up and he said that what we taught really hit him in a good way. The less-actives we have been working with are just doing wonderful and they are truly repenting and changing their lives.
We've been working with a few families in the ward and the Bagley family has a friend named Angela that we gave a Book of Mormon during dinner last night. Pretty good experience after eating some cafe rio.
Well I love you all. If you feel like getting on Mormon.org i put my profile on there. Just look up either Cleveland Ohio or Lance Sumsion and you'll find me.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Open your mouth and speak miracles." ~Elder Holland‏

“If you could look into the heavens and see who you really are, you would be overwhelmed with your capabilities, your talents, your spiritual qualities, and the vision of what you are able to become. If we knew now who we really are, we would feel different about ourselves. We would be excited and enthusiastic about this life even with its burdens and frustrations.” –President Harold B. Lee

This week has not been to bad. The people we have been teaching have been moving or have been slightly noncommittal. However the less-actives that we have been working with namely sis. Jackson and also Bro. Thomas have been doing wonderful things. We are hoping to start working with the grandchildren of sis. Jackson so that they can truly experience the blessings of active membership in the church.
Bro. Thomas is just awesome, he has been slowly breaking out old habits and catching a vision of a better self. He called us the other day and asked us about seeing himself being a better scripture reader. He basically told us that he has caught a vision of himself being a better scripture reader and then asked us if that would be possible. We told him defiantly. He was very happy to hear about that and it very much left an impression on my mind of how awesome the gospel is.
The most exciting thing to happen however is we were able to get in the home of some member's the Jordans who have been in this area for quite a long time and they looked over the ward list with us and gave us some names of people in the ward that might come back to church. We invited them to go and see them and ask them if the missionaries can come over. We are super excited to see what happens with that because from there we can change lives and find other lives that have been searching.
We had zone conference this week as well. It was pretty great. I'm excited to see the changes that will be happening in the mission as we prepare for the Christmas season. There is a nativity thing going on in Kirtland where tons of Nativity's from around the world are all shown in Kirtland. I've seen a few of them, they are pretty dandy.
I love you all. : )
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, November 7, 2011

What ship do you choose?‏

Been a very good week. A lot of the people we have been working with have been uncommital or they are moving. Sadly Nicole has not been keeping commitments the past few weeks and has been very hard to work with so Elder Stevens and I are planning on giving her a couple weeks or so before we make an effort to see her. Hopefully she makes an effort to see us and shows forth some desire in being baptized. We really love her a lot and she's doing better than she was at first but we've done all we can to this point in helping her. Even gave her an Alarm Clock to help her wake up. She'll come around.
Jenetta and her boyfriend Rob have outside of our area. So we will be handing them off to the Mayfield sisters in a joint lesson hopefully tomorrow if all goes well. She still wants to go to this ward however so it might be a little difficult making the transition. It always is for people who are so attached to members in specific wards. Although the Lords kingdom must be built in the order that he sends to his Prophets and leaders. I think the sister's teaching them (especially her) will be very helpful progression wise. However Jenetta did also introduce us to a nice girl named Jenny at a lesson we had planned in a member home. We taught her and she seems very intent on looking into the gospel.
Sis. Jackson is a great lady we've been working with who has truly commited herself to church despite many difficulties which is just amazing. She brought her non-member granddaughter to church yesterday.
As well as another wonder person we have been teaching Bro. Washington. He brought his friend Lee to church yesterday and he seemed to like it a lot. We will hopefully be teaching them both tonight.
Working with people who have had testimony issues truly does bring forth a lot of friends to help as well it just requires a lot of patience and love.
Had a leadership training meeting this week and it was pretty amazing but I did want to share something relatively funny that my mission president and his wife shared with us.

Pres. Sorenson (who by the way is not a fan of relaxing and wasting time. He is pretty much a no stop business man) "I hope you just don't stand around in the Shower."
Sis. Sorenson (very much about etiquette and being clean and pretty much civilized and very loving) "I hope they do a little bit."
Pres. Sorenson "He Stinketh" John 11:39
Gave me a bit of a chuckle.

I also heard a really good analogy/vision from Sis. Jackson last night at the Webbers for dinner. She said that she had a dream in which she was on the sea shore and it was just wonderful. Out in the distance she could see a ship that was being tossed back and forth by the waves and a storm. She saw another ship that was docked at the harbor and seeming to have no difficulty at all. Then she heard the Lord speak and say you have a choice to be on either of those ships right now, whichever ship you choose I will be with you. Which ship do you choose? She thought for a second and chose the ship out in the storm because he promised he will be with you on either. After the story Sis. Webber said that ships are not meant to be docked all the time. That's not how they were made.
I love you all.
(*)<~Elder Lance Sumsion

Monday, October 31, 2011

A year ago I litterally was in Halloween Town. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!‏

Well the big news is that transfers happened and I finally got a new companion and he reigns in from Burbank California right where basically any movie studio you can think of comes from. His name is Elder Perry Stevens. If you have ever seen Gods plan of happiness, an old church movie that sometimes missionaries use. His father is the main character in that show, the narrator as it were. Also another ironic story is that Bro. Bagley a member in my ward served in his ward ten or so years ago and has a picture of my companion when he was 11 in his house. Kinda cool and crazy.
Also an Elder Hansen from South Jordan moved into my apartment. He's hilarious.
First off we are still working with Nicole but she didn't keep two commitments we gave her so it has been a little bit harder. We are going to talk with her as soon as we can. She still really appreciates the things she learns from us but it is just so hard to discern what she thinks about things.
I don't know if you remember the 17 year old Ben Kleidman we were working with. But Elder Stevens and I saw him while we were walking and I said "Hi Ben." He runs over to us and asks if he can talk to us. He said that when he told his parents that he wanted to be baptized they told him that he wasn't allowed to talk or see us anymore. It felt really good getting some closure on that. He looked super sad and I could tell he still wants it but they'll have to wait until later. I was worried about that from the beginning. But Heavenly Father truly is aware of all situations and was able to bring peace to my soul on the subject because it truly had been bothering me ever since he had to drop us because he was so awesome and solid and both of us plus our members really grew to love him.
Lastly we had a miracle on Sunday in which we got a call during church from a guy named Mario. Elder Prince and I had lost contact with him about a month back. We met them while we were trying to figure out the Cleveland bus system home and Elder Prince ran over to them to talk with them. Well we ended up missing the bus we were supposed to take but we got on their bus and they mentioned they were just barely engaged married. Then we found out that they didn't have any money to do so. We mentioned that our church does it for free and they really liked that idea. Then we called them and couldn't get in contact again. However they called us and we met with them yesterday and had a wonderful first lesson with a member present in the church. We are meeting with them again tomorrow. Their names are Mario and Sierra and they are both really funny.
I love you all so much and I hope you are having a wonderful Halloween.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Barriers keep us from reaching something, bridges overcome barriers." ~Pres. Doneque (Kirtland Stake Presidency)‏

Well I have had just a wonderful time working with Elder Rangel and Elder Bills. We've tried to work out going on splits with the members as much as we could this week and we have mostly succeeded but only really at night. Some of the days we've spent together we have felt truly exhausted at the end of the night which always feels quite nice actually.
Well things with Nicole have been going quite well she is still interested in meeting with us and has been making some life changes. One night we went to her work because that is where we usually teach her. Which is not ideal but she works so much and her boss is fine with it. But we talked with her about happiness and she said "I wouldn't be meeting with you all if you didn't make me happy." That was super awesome to hear and really shows that she has been changing.
Leonard has been super sick and that has made it pretty much impossible to meet with him. We have an appointment tomorrow and he said he's feeling better so hopefully that one works out. He comes to sacrament meeting pretty regularly though.
We had to drop Gary McCoy sadly because he said that he wasn't interested in reading the Book of Mormon on his own or coming to church. He's comfortable where he's at.
The area is doing well and I'm very excited for Nicole. I think she will fit in well with the ward. Her fellow shippers are really good. So depending on her work schedule, baptism on the 12th does seem very possible.
We had stake conference on Sunday. That was a treat. First time I've ever had church in Kirtland Ohio, let alone stake conference. None of the investigators could make it which was a bummer but Sis. Jackson came and she is such great member that we've been working with for quite sometime. It was a wonderful step to see her there.
Elder Rangel is being transferred out of the apartment, so I'll be missing him. But Elder Bills and I will both be getting new companions so there will be some new missionaries that we get to know.
I love you all and this work is true.
Make sure that everyone of you is finding someone week in the spirit and taking them with you so that they may be edified in all meekness. That they may become strong in the spirit. (D&C 84:106) It's a promise we made to Heavenly Father at baptism. This work is true and we can really help someone and some family.
(*)<~Elder Lance Sumsion

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Flying solo X three.‏

The beginning of the week has actually been pretty awesome. Elder Prince and I had been devoting a bit more time to working and teaching people right on the spot in which he is just very talented at. We ended up teaching 7 other lessons this week and most of them are attributed to that reason. We also kept up pretty well on working with our current investigators.
Things have been going quite well with Nicole. She is a very wonderful person and I feel very blessed to teach her. We actually teach her most of the time while she's working at Jackie Chens Wok. But she been keeping commitments and has been doing awesome. She came to church for the first time this week with her son Shaundell and I have high hopes for later on. By the way none of this would have been possible if it weren't for her awesome fellowshippers. This ward is just brilliant and so helpful in that way.
We have been still working with Leonard and we set a date for him in the future when he is eligible for baptism. He did come to church this week so he defiantly stepping in the right direction
Lastly we picked up a shaker square original (as in we see him all the time but have been unable to teach him until now) named Gary McCoy and he's a little different at times but when you get him feeling the spirit you can really tell that he wants to change. He also has a date for baptism.
The most surprising that happened this week however happened Friday night and Saturday morning. We got a call friday night and it was from the Ap's. He told us that Elder Prince was being transferred tomorrow at 7 am. I was shock-ed. It turns out that of my former companions was going home and I'm super impressed with him in that way because he was a good companion. But anyway Elder Prince was transferred to my dear old ward Ashtabula. I was super jealous because I love that place. So Saturday morning we were basically driving most of the morning/day being a sort of transfer taxi system. Elder Prince is going to end up training in Ashtabula.
I am currently tripled up with the zone leaders Elder Bills and Elder Rangel. We are working the Shaker Heights ward, the Cleveland 3rd ward and The university singles branch until transfers on the 26th. I think it's safe to say I'll be staying for that transfer. But the weirdest thing is I went to church by myself yesterday and just flocked from priesthood holder to priesthood holder. Kinda different. Well I love you all and I'm excited to see what happens over the next few weeks.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, October 10, 2011

The leaves be falling on my BOOTS!‏

We were able to give a non-member service twice this week which was probably the most enjoyable thing we did among many enjoyable things. He pulled up to us while we were leaving an appointment with a less-active. He asked if we were Jesus boys. We replied yes and he asked for some help with moving and cleaning up his new house. We said that would be great and this week we started helping him, they are a good couple and very excited about the gospel. I think if we play our card right we can help them come to love the Book of Mormon and from there the church. Most of our success however has not come from non-members this week but just some awesome less-actives in the ward that really want to change. Specifically we've been helping Andre Thomas who is just to hard on himself, Sis. Burgess who just loves feeling the spirit and Sis. Galica Gray whom we finally taught with both of her daughters Saturday night. It was pretty awesome we've been working with her for quite some time and she's very solid and now her daughters are more receptive.
Nicole did not come to church however. Elder Prince and I are starting to doubt how actually interested she is now. We're gonna keep working with her a bit longer but we're going to have to see what happens.
There are plenty of other people we've been trying to teach and one of them Gary McCoy might start working out soon. He's a little bit different but we see him all over the place and he accepted us coming over. We've taught him twice and I would say it's going well so far. Just getting and them keeping appointments has been the difficulty with those we've been teaching.
Oh and I don't know if any of you remember Pam. We were teaching her a while ago and then she dissapeared. Well we found her, I texted her daughter and she told me she's in the hospital so after a little bit she told us where to go to see her. Well that didn't totally work out because she was very much to out of it to even speak. She also had a tracheotomy(?) thing in her neck.
OH and I bought new boots that are very steel toed and awesome and very much crush any type of nut that just so happens to be under my foot. I feel very powerful walking around in them.
Well have some pictures of Zoned out as well. These are all of the ones with me in them and one of them almost not but you can see more at kws-ohiocleveland.blogspot.com.
Love you all,
(*)<~Elder Lance Sumsion

Monday, October 3, 2011

The true bus system of Cleveland Ohio.‏

This has defiantly been a different week. We have seen tons of success in getting members out with us and with them teaching and they have been just awesome with all the help they provide us. We however have not seen much progression with those that we currently were teaching. I don't think they aren't interested though just busy making it very difficult to follow up with commitments but I'm planning on making an added effort to make sure that works out this week.
General conference was so inspiring and such a blessing. Sadly though sisters my favorite session was priesthood because it was awesome. I'm super excited about the new Provo temple. Just crazy stuff.
We've been working with Jeanetta a less-active and she has just been awesome and referred a lot of people. They seem kinda promising, but they were unable to attend conference. They did however attend other events.
Biggest story of the week and possibly the whole time I've been in this area. Although I tell this story for the purpose of not being mean but it defiantly is the most interesting slash hilarious experiences I've had on my mission. So don't think ill because we did fulfill our baptismal covenant in doing this.
Yesterday morning we were invited to go to a members home and watch conference with them and they let us know if we find anyone they can come with us too. Well after we woke up in the frigid apartment yesterday we did our studies and then decided to go out a contact whilst we walk to the Hall's home. While we were walking there was nobody in sight so we decided to hop on a bus and talk to the people on the bus. Well...We see this lady that we had talked to previously and my bold and fearless companion decides to very loudly invite her and basically the whole bus over to our members home with us. She declined and then after about a half a minute the guy in front of me asks if he can come to church with us. At first I was kinda surprised and almost said no because he had a cigarette in his ear and didn't want to bring that into one of the members homes but I decided to ask why he was on the bus. He replied "Because I'm going to church with you." I was confused but said "Oh...OK." Then we have to get off the bus but before we do I discover than our new friend Donald has been shot twice in his life.
That was defiantly not what I expected to hear as a conversation starter but while getting off the bus I realize that one of those bullet had permanently damaged his walking and he had to walk with a cane. Well... we get off the bus and call the Halls and they say it's OK that he comes and watches conference with us. Bro. Hall picks us up and we go to their house.
When we arrive Sis. Hall says that she'll make us some lunch and starts preparing it. We decide to teach Donald about prophets and he gave some pretty intelligent responses but was very distracted by the food and such to the point where I told him "Donald, over here." and then he started falling asleep so we ended the lesson so we could eat.
After the food which was very yummy we went to the couch to watch conference and Donald sat down on one of their recliners (but he didn't know that). We got through the opening him and the opening prayer and in the middle of the second hymn after the prayer he laid his head on one of the armrests and fell asleep and stayed asleep the whole two hours.
The story ends with a journey around Cleveland to find a homeless shelter to drop him off at. We were unable to get any contact information because he didn't have any so I don't think we'll see him again. It was a good Christlike experience but defiantly not what we expected for our Sunday morning conference session. I'd also like to publically thank the Hall's for there amazing generosity.
Anyway, that was the most exciting thing to happen this week next to conference. I love you all and can't believe that I've only got one more of them left until I'm home. By the way the April Conference is my last Sunday in the mission.
Love you.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Monday Again!‏

This week has been a lot better than the previous couple weeks. We had to stop working with a Less Active that just wasn't very willing and then we were able to get in contact with 2 others. One of them doesn't really seem like he's interested in coming back to church because currently he is a member of the RLDS faith. He was very interesting to talk to. The most interesting part is that he referred himself to us because he wanted Pamphlets and movies and such so he could preach "The Restoration" (Just the restoration). We told him that we only hand stuff out for the purpose of helping others come into this church. Very interesting, his name is Joseph Pupo. The other man we got in contact with I think we can actually do something, he is very humble and wants to get back into the gospel his name is Willie Edwards.
The coolest things that have happened this week is our new investigator Nicole. Elder Prince started talking to her while we ordering food from her in a nearby Chinese restaurant a few weeks ago. At first we couldn't seem to work with her but now she has a baptismal date. It's pretty exciting. She has a seven year old son (i think seven) that we haven't met yet.
Another great thing that we are working with is one of the Less Actives we have been teaching Janetta Sipp came to church activities and church this week. The unexpected thing is that she brought a non-member friend of hers to church named Ashley. It was unexpected because we've been having difficulty getting her to church but it was very awesome to see her and her friend there.
Well I lov'a youssa peoples.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Zoned Out cupcake face champion!

Well it has been a little bit of a trial week. We still have no way of getting in contact with Pam and Ben is defiantly avoiding us. We were having some difficulty getting a hold of him on the phone and this wasn't the first time this has happened so stopped by and when we knocked on his door and I saw him basically run upstairs. So something happened there either got anti-ed or something like that, kind of a bummer but I've come to realize a lot that you receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
Elder Prince and I have kicked our talking with people up quite a bit since our teaching pool went down. We've found a decent few people that seem pretty interested. Some of the biggest difficulty is getting them to keep or set up appointments though. The cool thing is we've taught 2 almost member referrals recently we just can't count them as referrals or new investigators yet. But one of them Joan seems like there is some solid potential behind her because of the family who is referring her is one of the strongest in the ward the same family that referred Isiah (whose getting baptized Saturday) to the Zone Leaders. I think she and him and some other people came because of having the bishop on our side in this ward and the help of family mission plans in this ward. I pray that more come.
Lastly Leonard Banks is doing well don't have much to report about him. Just need to overcome some hurdles before baptism.
I also have been a little sick this week with a cold that caused me to stay inside Friday. I'm glad I did, I feel allot better the day after which was actually an awesome day.
It was Saturday and the ward was having an activity in which we went around with a bunch of members taking pictures with specific objects around Cleveland. Elder Prince and I went with the McCrackens and had a blast. I'm gonna try and get a hold of some of the pictures.
Finally I don't know if you remember but a year ago when I was with Elder Decker (who just went home oh and by the way transfers happened and nothing changed) in New Castle, PA. We went to something at the John Johnson home for P-day and had a half mission p-day. We did that again Monday which is why i'm emailing today. It was tons of fun. We had a really race in which I got to smash my face in to some chocolatey cupcakes. I loved it and we won! Just like last year. It was pretty sweet I was eating cupcake of my clothes the rest of Zoned out.
Well I love you all and I should be back to normal email schedule next week.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The tale of the Headless Dog on Buckeye!‏

Well there has defiantly been some challenges this week but Elder Prince and I have been working through them. I really love this area and the goodness of the members and the people within it. Most of our work has been with Less Actives(LA's) this week due to some issues with Investigators. The miracles that have been happening with the LA's have been awesome though. Elder Prince and I have been working with a Sis. Burgess and she has come to church 2 weeks in a row which is just incredible. She's really been applying God into her life. The other LA's we've mostly been working with reading comprehension with them and seeking the spirit to help them understand.
Pam has kind of disappeared. Her phone doesn't work anymore, because she can't afford the bill, so we can't get a hold of her. When we stopped by for an appointment she wasn't there so we left a note and every time we have gone back to see her again the note is still there. Hopefully we find her again and figure out a way to mend any situations she's been going through.
Ben is doing great. He's still progressing however he can't come to church because of work. He talked to his boss and his boss said he needed him to work Sunday's because all the other workers have been promised that they won't have to work Sunday. So we've invited him to plenty of church activities and we're gonna do our best to get him there. Looks like general conference will be the first time we get him to church.
We weren't able to meet with Leonard this week but he is doing very well. He came to church Sunday and we are gonna help him through some issues to prepare him for baptism.
On another funny but kind of gross note so don't read this paragraph if you don't like being grossed out and sickened sorta. While we were biking to church on Sunday morning we took a different route so we could see if Pam could come. Well while we were going a long I saw something weird just laying on the opposite of the road side of the sidewalk. It was hairy and as I looked at it and got closer I smelt something absolutely terrible and the smell got way bad when I passed it. I realized it was a dead dog. It was dead because it had no head. Which was not to be seen anywhere near by. Elder Prince and I are pretty sure somebody like macheted this dog's head and left the body because it didn't really look like it was hit by a car. So that was the highlight of the day/week.
I was also able to stand in the circle for the confirmation of the Holy Ghost for one of the ZL's baptisms. His name is LaShaun and he's pretty much awesome.
Well I love you all.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Let the Lower Lights be burning."‏

This week was exciting. Although the weather has been funny and it seems to me that the cold is coming back. It started out with a not to bad kind of a heat and then went to nearly unbearable heat and humidity, now it's kinda chilly.
We saw a lot of success in visiting non-members and less-actives with members of the ward. Most of our success has been through our investigator Ben Kleidman, he's just awesome and asks questions that you don't find a normal 17 year old ask. He also retains the information we teach him and what he reads very well. I really love teaching him. The only issue we have been having with him is that he can't come to church yet because he has work at that time. We commited him to talk to his boss about it though so we're praying that turns out well.
We are also working with Pam Payne who is just a sincere person, she has a few issues we have been helping her with but she is just a wonderful lady. She is always very happy that we come and she feels the spirit, most of it is taking the time while we are gone to bring the spirit herself. She's doing really amazing though, she has been very humbled by life.
We also have been trying to work with the Boyfriend of a member that has been taught in the past. His name is Leonard Banks and he's a good guy just has some personal "Goliath's" to overcome.
A few of our other investigators have been hard to keep in contact with and at least one of them is not interested anymore but we are still very hopeful.
I'm not quite sure if I wrote about this but we had Elder Marcus B. Nash (of the seventy) visit our mission. He gave some very profound statements that I love. One was (paraphrased and actually taken from an apostle) "we always talk about getting the water to the end of the row so all the plants don't die, but with god we just need to have it rain." Then he also pointed us to D&C 84:106-108 i thought those principles would help us a lot in getting people to church.
On Monday we went out by Lake Erie (with the zone leaders we live with Elder Bills and Elder Rangel(he's Venezuelan)) which was just beautiful and was as angry as an ocean with how big the waves were, and we watched and air show with some of the members from our ward the Bagleys. That was a lot of fun and the planes were pretty sweet.
Yesterday we had district meeting in the Kirtland Stake center and after that we were able to go do some service at the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse that early church members would see when they come in or leave from by boat on Lake Erie. It used to be like the Salt Lake Airport with how many missionaries would leave from there they said. I thought that was pretty funny.
Well this is long and I love you all. Keeping working hard and I will too.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, August 29, 2011

A man filled with the love of God can't be content with just blessing himself.

I would have to say reporting wise this is defiantly one of the best weeks I've ever had on my mission. Despite some of the difficulties we have faced in this area and especially this week everything just seemed to fall into place. A lot of the credit goes to the lord and this amazing ward which has been super missionary minded ever since Elder Prince and I have been visiting members and working with them to set missionary goals. I don't think I've ever been in a ward that compliments the missionaries as much as this one has been. It makes me feel all buttered up and I know the members are trying and we are seeing some great results. Plus my companion right now is just awesome. Anyway we now have 5 wonderful investigators who are all doing very well progression wise. Plus others that we are still working with.

Our primary investigators right now are Pam and her Daughter LaCresha (referral from W.Cleveland)and they now have a baptismal date for the 22nd of October they also came to church yesterday with the help a wonderful member Sis. Gray. We just started teaching some member referrals named George and Fay Williams who have some friends in the Shaker Ward and that is going well we were able to give them blessings as well as bless their home, they came to church as well. Finally we are working with a now 17 year old named Ben Kleidman who is just awesome because he learns and remembers the things he learns as well as agrees with them. He's totally awesome Elder Prince and I were able to contact into him. He'll be difficult to get to church because of work and he plays soccer for Shaker High School but we asked him about it and he's planning on talking to his boss to see if they can work something out. Just awesome!

I'm excited to see what happens next in this work and I'm so grateful for all of your prayers. They really help and I appreciate them.
Love,
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Playing with the camera

A playground or a park?

Ashtabula, Ohio Winter 2010-2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mormon Dynasty.‏

You have just gotta love all the interesting and wonderful experiences that you can have in Cleveland. The highlights of the week are teaching our new investigator Ben Kleidman, he's 16 almost 17 and is very interested in the church and asking for himself. I'm really super excited to see what happens as we work with him. He's very busy though so he's hard to meet with. Also we met with a referral named Pam and she sincerely wants to change her life the trials in her life have made her very humble and we had an awesome lesson with her. Another highlight of the week was sacrament meeting when a Bro. Gomez gave one the most inspiring talks on missionary work that i have ever heard it was just absolutely amazing gave Elder Prince and I one of the best compliments I've ever had in my life. Really appreciated everything he said.
My left arm has healed up quite a bit but it is still rather sore. That's pretty much the only thing bothering me from my accident but it really ain't to bad.
Funny thing that happened this week. We were leaving an appointment from a wonderful lady named Sis. Gray and while we were walking away we see some guy so we ask him if he wants a card. He asks us if we have a cigarette, we say we don't smoke and then he turns to some other guy across the street and he gives him one. We start talking with both of them and the second guy leaves pretty quickly and then we tell the other guy where our church is located. Euclid and 77th next to Aldis's. He then asks if its the church on Mayfield road, we say no and repeat ourselves. He then asks us if its on Bellflower road, we say no it's The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. He says oh! Church of a Jesus Christ of mount Zion! We say no and repeat ourselves again and start trying to leave because he wasn't all there. We give him a card and reads Mormon and then says you from the Mormon dynasty, we look at him confused and start talking about the book of Mormon. He says oh the book that talks about the 14th century theologian John Mormon who crossed the sea to get to America of the Mormon dynasty. I just started laughing and so did my companion because it was such a silly conversation and then the zone leaders came by so we got away.
Also had another guy when I was on exchange with Elder Moffett (a missionary who will be joining me on the plane home) he's going to be with Elder Prince and I for a little while because his companion is in the Cleveland Clinic with Pancreatitis. He said that Mormons are crazy people that run around in the forest and do all sorts of things. I stopped him by saying "I'm a Mormon and we don't do any of that stuff." He looked so confused. I really like Cleveland and missionary work it's fun. : )
Anyway, love you all.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, August 15, 2011

Satan usually doesn't drop flowers on hippies but in Cleveland...‏

We have had a week full of a lot of hard work with members and we've seen a little bit of results but nothing too extreme right now. Elder Prince and I have been trying to set goals for missionary work with the members in our area. Because allot of the people we have been talking with either are not very interested or they skip out on appointment's because of lack of commitment or they're little crazy. Although I'm convinced with enough hard work and help from fulfilling purpose with members we will see some solid member referral baptisms. That's usually how it has gone for me in my past area's I get to an area that is kinda dead and then we just start working and people show up. We had dinner with one family the Bagleys and they invited 2 non-members over with whom we were able to share a quick message with that was pretty cool and we will see where that goes. We've been working hard and I'm determined that we get some more members out with us despite the difficulty of their school schedules because most of the members in our ward go to Case Western University for their medical/dental/lawyer degrees. Makes for a lot of solid and busy members (oh and by the way Bro. Tippits actually ran against Jared in the thingy, he's an awesome guy). Anyway there has been a lot of good happen this week. We have a new investigator is a nice lady named Miss. Fuller was nice enough to talk with us after another investigator shrugged us off. Anyway it has been fun working in this area and Elder Prince and I are enjoying ourselves talking with some of the interesting people Cleveland has to offer. The other day we talked to this lady and she flat out said Gambling ruined her life, then we asked her what would be the best thing to help you get your life back (thinking she would say Church or Jesus or something akin to that) she said winning the lottery...sigh...people will understand someday. On Tuesday to kind of start off our week we were biking home from district meeting and I waved at some lady because she was staring at me funny and then looked at Elder Prince who then moved to the right, I looked down and saw a fire hydrant right in front of me. I smacked dead center into that and was flung over my handlebars and the hydrant onto the cement. My right hand started bleeding and my left wrist is now in a sort of brace that you can purchase over the counter because I sprained it pretty bad. But anyway I've healed up quite a bit since then. Also so you don't get weirded out and confused by the title of my email we were teaching a lesson and we looked at a mural painted on the wall of this coffee shop we were teaching in (I know not the ideal place to teach). In the mural there was a flying Satan dropping flowers on hippies, I thought that was odd and funny so decided to include it. Oh and yesterday we're not over the singles branch but 4 Chinese non-member's came to church and they were totally awesome I loved talking with them and how humble they were. But yeah they had heard about Mormons and wanted the chance to see what we were like. Anyway...
Love you all.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, August 8, 2011

In the heart of it all.‏

Well I have now been transferred to my 6th area and yesterday was crazily enough my 16 month mark. Gives me a little bit of an icky feeling down my back.
At transfer meeting a lot of the great missionary's that I have had the privilege to serve around finished their missions. Elder Haines is gone and also Elder Farmer who is just awesome. All is well though. Oh and Elder Dowley is training so I'm a Grandfather!
My new area is pretty much awesome. I am now in the Kirtland District (in the Kirtland Zone) which is pretty sweet, because I get to go to Kirtland every week. I'm serving in the East Cleveland area. Which is pretty intense because the entire ward is ours and it is all a biking area. I'm going to be monster thighs when I leave. Plus it is the most ghetto area in the mission I've heard which is pretty sweet. I've got tales that I could tell about this area but I won't : ). There is so many people too, I love it. Plus in the ward is a Brother Tippets (I kind of recognized him). I believe he said he was on Team Focus with Jared when he was running for student body president way back when.
My new companion Elder Prince is an amazing missionary. I'm having trouble keeping up with him and how great he is at being a missionary. You would never have guessed this is his second transfer, he's just inspiring. I still live with 4 elders too. We live with the zone leaders Elder Bills and Elder Rangel (ran-hel) both of which are just great.
It kinda feels like I'm back in Fairlawn/Akron.
Lots of things to do today and I love you all.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Elder Warner, Elder Scovill, Elder Sumsion, Elder Green, and Elder Pratt taken on July 6, 2011

Findlay's bottle has been drunk but not by me even though I'm 21!!!‏

Well...As usual all good things must come to an end to bring forth greater good. Last night we received transfer information and I was released as a Zone Leader and called as a District Leader again. So tomorrow morning Elder Scovill and I will be taken off to new adventures around the mission in the greatest work I've ever done. I started in this area with a mission role model of mine Elder Haines (whom will be returning home on Thursday to Orem). Then we baptized my dear friend Charlie Palmer when my next two companions came to serve with me Elder Ehlert and Elder Conlin. Eventually Elder Conlin left us and I spent a couple more weeks with Elder Ehlert and then my new dear friend Elder Green came to serve with me. I've learned a lot about love here. Sometimes I wish my perspective on life would always stay the same no matter what comes my way but it doesn't. It's all good though it's just another way the lord molds me.
The coolest thing that happened this week is the other Elders in our ward had a baptism of Barb Pfitzer a wonderful lady who I had the opportunity to interview for baptism. She's very sweet.
Obviously I turned 21 yesterday and that was cool. When we went to district lunch there was an ounce more temptation to buy beer. But I didn't and basically slapped Satan in his spirit face. That was fun and then Elder Green and I actually had a pretty successful day. We taught a wonderful lady named Katherine who said I've been thinking about getting baptized how would I go about doing that. Pretty much awesome we commited her to a date in September because she has cancer right now for the second time among other trials that she has faced in her life. Then we finished the night at the Morrows who have become so very dear to my heart since I've arrived in this area that I just can't explain with words. It was a good birthday.
Love you everyone. I'm really excited to see where I'll be tomorrow night. :)
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, July 25, 2011

Area frog hopping

Definitely had a different week here in Findlay, technically the Findlay Zone.
Monday was a nice p-day it was mostly spent relaxing but we did get some fun stuff in. That night Elder Green and I ate dinner at the Caldwells and that was fun because they've got some nice quirks to them and they are both RM's and have been trying to find us people to teach, plus it was raining like a hurricane outside the biking Elders got absolutely drenched.
Tuesday we went to the Fremont District Meeting which was very well done by Elder Pratt. Afterwards Elder Green went on exchanges with Elder Farmer and I went with Elder Metcalf in Tiffin. We were going to have Elder Farmer work with Elder Green and the walking Elders over the next couple days and I was going to go to Tiffin one day and Fremont the next. Elder Metcalf is a great missionary, I was so very impressed with him, he is light years ahead of where I was when I came in the mission. At the beginning of the exchange I had put my sleepover stuff in the Trunk of their car and it ended up being a fail because when we tried to open the trunk it wouldn't because my blanket got stuck in the lock. We had to go get some nice professional guy help us get it unlocked. Tiffin was just full of opportunities to contact all day and we had a great time doing that.
Wednesday I went to Fremont with Elder Pratt and we had a miracle. First off the entire day was planned with appointments (which was awesome) but we got a call from one of them and she cancelled and literally minutes later we got another call from a member and he invited us over to come and meet some people he was planning on inviting to church at the exact time of the cancelled appointment. It was awesome! We got there and after about a half hour of talking to them the member forced all of us into a Restoration lesson. We ended up picking them up as investigators and they are relatively solid. Just a good exchange with Elder Pratt altogether. That was pretty much the highlight of the week.
I also went on exchanges with Elder Ditto when the AP's came for exchanges. He's a good missionary and we were able to teach Charlie who has been difficult to teach since he was baptized and that went really well too.
Sunday was weird, our ward went on the Trek this week and also a missionary came back from her mission this week as well. So we had a two hour sacrament meeting and that was different. It consisted of a homecoming talk and then pioneer day music and testimony's that had come because of the trek. I liked it a lot reminded me of the Trek I went on like 4 or 5 years ago weirdly enough.
Anyway love you all. Transfers happen on the third so we'll see what happens.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, July 18, 2011

Just a sickling away.

Lots of good things happened this week. We have been able to start meeting with our investigator Shawn twice a week now for just a half hour each time. I think that will help him to progress quite a bit compared to the slow pace we've been going at. Most of our work has just been with people that we have tracted/contacted into and hasn't been super effective. A couple of them have not made any contact with us for quite a while so we're not working with them anymore. Lots of good people still to work with though.
Zone Development Meeting was this week. Its kind of like a zone conference but the pres. and ap's aren't there. I was very spiritually uplifted and we have just amazing Elders in this zone right now.
After ZDM we went on a double blitz exchange. Elder Pratt and Elder Green worked in Lima with those Elders and Elder Farmer and I went to St. Mary's. I worked with Elder Butcher for the night and Elder Conlin for the day. I had a good time down there and I was very determined to find someone for those Elders to work with. We got a couple potentials that I'm hoping work out. I was also able to meet Sis. Kiefer who is one of Elder Cardenaz's (he's getting married in the Oakland Temple on the 5th of August by the way) first baptism's. That was pretty awesome to see a life my dear trainer changed in his first area.
I was also able to go on exchanges with Elder Ditto this week. We had a good time and we biked like beasts in around 90 degree weather. Did a lot of good work that day and had a pretty good time with him. He's pretty dang funny.
Well love you all.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pathways to the Heartlands?‏

It has been a pretty sweet week here in Findlay/Toledo/Cleveland(Strongsville)/Kirtland(Mayfield). On Monday Elder Green and I did some teaching in a place called McComb to a good guy named Brad Todd and then we took off up to Toledo to spend the night there.
Tuesday we went to Zone Leader Council which was pretty sweet. We counciled about some "heated" mission topics (sometimes it is just silly stuff). Then I spent the night working in a place called Strongsville(Elder Parker and Elder Ehlert use to work here together) with Elder Judd (He came out right after my transfer).
Wednesday the meeting in the Mayfield Ohio building was truly inspiring and it felt awesome listening to Elder Dowley's testimony (He's a District Leader now, the stud). He has changed so much in the 3 months it has been since I've seen him. I really appreciated the opportunity to serve with him.
After the meeting Elder Green and I were able to go contacting the next day in our area (after a very long drive home). We had quite a bit of success. Two return appointments (one of which we are teaching today) and another interested Jew named Joshua. Hopefully everything works out well with them since our other investigators don't really seem to be committed. We are looking forward to zdm on Tuesday and afterwards we will be going down to Lima and St.Marys with the Fremont Elders to blitz that area because they are very low on people to teach down there. It should be an exciting exchange.
Well I love you all so very much and thank you for your letters and your prayers.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Death of Hawkins!!!.....by independance day aliens.‏

Had a great week. After being in this area for a little bit over two transfers we finally achieved a goal of 20 lessons in a week and then we beat that and made it 21. I'm so grateful for my companion and the members of this ward that helped us get that, especially Bro. Fagan. Whose determination to help the missionaries is almost overwhelmingly awesome at times. Well I kinda forgot my planner and that's how I usually remember the things I do in a week. As Elder Pratt (and I think Elder Decker as well) calls it "our second brain."
Lets see, I went on an exchange with Elder Michelson this week. He's a good missionary pretty much all around in appointments and getting appointments and stuff. Plus we were able to teach 2 non-members that day and one of them is very difficult to get in contact with so it was pretty much great.
Lets see, we had a small miracle while we were about to bike away from an appointment a non-member called us over and asked us to teach her basically, it was pretty sweet. She's a very smart and nice lady and I hope working with her ends up in baptism.
Yeah, I don't really have much to say other than it is unbelievable that it has been two since I've seen Troy. Like literally my brain is exploding.
Ummmm, Well I get to go to Toledo tonight and then Cleveland tomorrow and then Kirtland the next day. So this week is gonna be pretty awesome, also I get to see my beloved boy Elder Dowley. The stud is a district leader now.
Well I love you all to bits.
Happy 4th of July and don't blow yourself up too much.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Friday, July 1, 2011

Current Address

Elder Lance Sumsion
2001 A Sterling Ct.
Findlay, OH 45840

Monday, June 27, 2011

The sky is Green and the grass is Ditto.

We have had a pretty great week here in Findlay. First off we were able to go out with a member Nick Rackley on Monday and meet some non-members and try to get to know them. Then that night we found out that Elder Ehlert would be getting transferred.
So on Tuesday we did a bunch of p-day stuff and made sure everything was set for the transfer.
On Wednesday I spent the day in the Holland area (which is Toledo Ohio) with Elder Pratt and Elder Trammel they have a good area up there and a lot of great people. I was excited to find out I would be serving with Elder Green, I've admired his faith and diligence since I met him a while ago. He's a pretty sweet missionary, he's been in the same district his whole mission which is about 10 months. There has defiantly been a difference since he has been here as well. I'm not saying that Elder Ehlert is a bad missionary because he's not, it just seems that everyone I go to see with Elder Green just works out compared to getting flamed all the time also we have been biking like beasts because we are out of miles.
I'm excited to see what happens with the new people we have been working with one of them is named Mary, but she's going on vacation here soon. We also have a great guy named Shawn White whom we helped paint his house and might play basketball with today during p-day. Lastly a family that we have been working with we were finally all able to teach. The Murphy's, at first we met the granddaughter Hannah and then we met the mother Cassi, but we started teaching the grandfather Gerald first. We have been unable to teach Cassi and Hannah because they never seem to be home when we come by. However Saturday night that changed and we were finally able to teach all of them. Their family is great and we really want to get the ward in there to help them out. Both Shawn and the Murphys commited to baptismal dates.
We also go and see a member family the Morrows a bit to help them out and they were robbed this week while they were sleeping. Pretty scary. But they are great and I love them a lot.
Oh and by the way the new missionary in the apartment is Elder Ditto he is companions with Elder Scovill who is sort of training him but Elder Ditto served the past year in the Ukraine but has been unable to get the language the past year so now he's here in an awesomer mission. He's pretty funny and it is really cool to talk to him about Ukraine.
Well I love you all to bits.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tap Out! And he's gone!!!‏

Elder Ehlert and I have been doing a good job with finding but we have been not doing so well with retaining those investigators, however this week we were not only able to find but we also taught two investigators that have been difficult to keep in contact with.
One of them was Stephanie (the person where we knocked on her door and she invited us right in). We just happened to knock on her door when she came home from work early. It was great because she's still very interested.
Another was Gerald whom we had taught a couple weeks ago. We watched the restoration with him and we saw some improvement and progression in him which was awesome. Hopefully we can stay in contact with him and his family.
We had a couple exchanges this week, I went down to Lima with Elder Read on Wednesday the 15th. We actually had a pretty wonderful evening. First we talked to a couple cool old guys gutting live fish right in front of us, then we taught a lesson to George and Tabitha Baymen. I really liked teaching and talking with them. They are pretty strong members of another church but I bet they'll get baptized. Then we taught Andrea Crites whom I had the privilege to give a baptismal interview too a few weeks ago. Finally we taught Skip and Julie Bodecker and their family. Julie actually got baptized on Saturday!
The following day I spent with Elder Pratt (he actually replaced me when I left New Castle 10 months ago) in Findlay, his missionary attitude is just superb. We were unable to do much other than teach the Vermillion family though.
Well we received transfer information last night and I will be staying in Findlay. However my patient teaching companion Elder Ehlert (even though he just got here) is being transferred. The cool thing is that Elder Scovill (who came out with my boy Elder Dowley) is training a new missionary in the biking area. So there will be a greenie in the apartment.
Well I love you all.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, June 13, 2011

Apple makes me think of Caramel Apple (or Adam and Eve, who knows). ~Elder Scovill‏

It has been a pretty exciting week. Started of with some help from a member named Bro. Hodgeman on Monday. He took us out to dinner and then agreed to go out with us to see a new investigator named Dennis. He was really good at trying to get to know him. Then we took off to go drop Elder Conlin of in Perrysburg with Elder Haines and Elder Stone. I saw Elder Haines' foot. It was gnarly his toe nail had been removed and his toe was huge.
The next day we went to Zone Leader Council with the contacting in Cleveland afterwards was pretty awesome. I was comped up with one of my favorite missionary's that always seems to make it into my emails Elder Richardson. They dropped us off in a part of Cleveland called tower city somewhere random and we just talked with every person we saw pretty much, spent a lot of time in a parking lot.
Afterwards we exchanged with the AP's I was with Elder Tracy, he is a very quick and diligent missionary and I appreciate his help in getting me to set my sights higher, he's rather funny as well.
On Friday Saturday a member was having a graduation party we ran into a nice guy named Sam there newly graduated out of High School, he said he was willing to let us come see him. He had a pretty sweet accent but he's from Findlay. Also while we were tracting later that day a nice lady named Mary opened her door and her dog bolted outside and we chased him around the neighborhood for a while and then we were able to talk with her after all that and she said she was willing as well.
Sunday the coolest thing that happened was that I was able to give Charlie the Aaronic Priesthood. That was pretty much awesome. He's such a great guy.
Anyway, Love y'all to bits and pieces
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, June 6, 2011

Like a thief in the night.‏

We were able to get another 2 new investigators this week, one of them is named Catherine she has a whole family that will eventually become interested in the gospel. She has had cancer twice in her life and this last time it has taken a pretty big toll on her. The lesson went very well with her and I think she really learned a lot and enjoyed it. Although when we tried to set another appointment with her she wouldn't budge from setting one two weeks away instead of sooner which is kind of a bummer but oh well.
Last night we had a miracle, we were going to an appointment to see someone named Hannah with her mother Cassi. They both have been really hard to teach because despite what we do they flame us. When we knocked on the door it seemed like they had flamed us again and just before we were about to leave a man named Gerald opened the door. He is Cassi's father and Hannah's grandfather. They both were not there but with the help of the RM member that we brought a long we were able to get inside the door and teach him a first lesson the best part was when the member committed him to baptism and he said yes. We have another appointment on Thursday with him. Also at the end of the lesson Cassi and Hannah showed up so we talked with them for a little bit and asked if they would be there Thursday as well. They said they would.
We had an exchange with the Tiffin Elders this week I was with Elder Ercanbrack and Elder Conlin. It was a pretty exciting exchange except when I was being a Dingleberry and broke our cell phone. Although at the end of the day we had a good time talking (or being talked at) by a nice man named Arthur Lentz.
This morning we got a call from the AP's and found out that Elder Conlin is being transferred tonight. Elder Ehlert and I were driving up in that direction tonight anyway so we will be dropping him off. The reason why he is being transferred there is because my last comp. Elder Haines accidently slipped underneath a lawnmower and luckily the mower was too dull to chop his toe off but it smashed his foot to the point that he needs surgery.
Anyway, I love you all too bits.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion
P.S. Congrats Brook and Taylor on your graduating!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ah-choo-choo-choo.‏

It has been an interesting week. We've had a pretty decent amount of success with knocking doors but the best one was when we were actually stopping by a less-active in a town that we can rarely get to due to miles. We knocked on the door and a girl named Stephanie (that we later found out) said "Hi! Come on in." We were all kinda confused and then we asked if there was a male in the home. There wasn't so we had to set up an appointment for the next day and when we came back the next day we tracted before the lesson and found some more potential for that area. It was pretty neat, the best part though was the lesson with Stephanie, she seems pretty genuinely interested. She's also got an adorable daughter named Riley. Sadly though we haven't been able to see her again because two of her co-workers up and quit so now she has to work a lot more. There has been a few other people that have been a little interested recently just from tracting. Also we went to a place called Chopin Hall. Its a service place in our area and it is a pretty good place to contact people we have about 2 minutes to talk with them and then invite helps me keep on my toes it was pretty cool.
So...there has also been some awesome weather this week. We were actually in the middle of a lesson when hail started falling from the sky some of them being bigger than golf balls (probably the size of a billiard ball), we had to cut that lesson short but we did get a new investigator out of it though her name is Lisa. She's a cousin of a less-active member. Anyway we ended up having to stay inside the rest of the night because there was about 5 funnel clouds that opened over Findlay (according to a member) non of them touched down but it was pretty epic weather. The hail damaged a lot of cars all over the place leaving lots of dents on the roofs and also breaking some windshields. Anyway it was awesome.
Love you and happy birthday Dad and Amanda!
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, May 23, 2011

J-Yes the letter J‏

The week started out with a drive to St. Marys to drop off the car down there so that we can get a cheaper price on fixing the car from a recent deer hit. It wasn't to bad and we were able to stop by Lima as well and play some b-ball with them.
Zone Development Meeting was on Tuesday. It was pretty good, Elder Ehlert said some stuff and I said some stuff and then we commited everyone to work harder as well as ourselves. Later that night we were able to teach Charlie pretty much everything else he needed to know and then we picked up and dropped off some missionaries in our zone and we drove them to Westlake where the mission home is near Cleveland. We able to spend the night there because of the following days activites.
Leadership Training the next day very much appreciated and pretty much awesome. I especially enjoyed a workshop by Sis. Golightly, she really put a lot of thought into it. Basically she tried to help feel the spirit by removing some of the 5 senses we had. The first time she had a missionary bear his testimony and then another bear his while the light were turned off. Then she had one missionary hold up a picture of the Savior and then stand inbetween Elder Perkins(he was in my first district and ward with me) and I. She then had me bear my testimony and then gave Elder LaBar(playing the investigator, he was also in the same distirct as me when I was in Ashland) some earplugs and had Elder Perkins bear his (Because we happened to volunteer for that one). Then she had another missionary bear his and the next missionary just gave another missionary playing the role of an investigator a Book of Mormon. It was pretty cool.
On Friday we were able to go down to Lima with Bro. Lawrence in the ward and teach Charlie and one of his roomates. Satan had been working hard on Charlie this week and he brought up some concerns but they were just evidences of repentence and his sincerity in joining the church.
The next day he was interviewed.
Then on Sunday Charlie was baptized and confirmed after church. It was a great experience and his mother, step-father and father were there (plus some friends that I didn't get to meet). His father has been taking the missionary lessons down in Columbus. They were all touched by the spirit and I'm hoping that they continue to feel those feelings. Yup Charlie is pretty much awesome and I'm super excited to see his progression in the church as time goes on here in Findlay. Oh and by the way at his baptism I discovered that Charlie is actually his middle name that he goes by because his first name is J. Yes the letter J. No not Jay just J.
It has been a pretty decent week otherwise, we are back to finding and I know someone or some family will turn up soon.
Love you all.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, May 16, 2011

5=2+3

It has been kind of a different and unexpected week here in Findlay. First off Elder Haines and I had a pretty good last couple of days working with each other. We had a good lesson with Charlie on Monday and sadly we haven't been able to see him the rest of the week because of school/finals week, his new job, and something I only recently learned about was that his mother was getting remarried yesterday. So he's been really busy, although we have been able to keep in contact with him over the phone.
Tuesday was a pretty awesome p-day. Nick Rackley a member out here came with us to a driving range. It was the first time I've ever been to one and I kinda enjoyed it, I'm still not super good but after Nick gave me a few pointers I was able to drive it about 125 which was sweet.
Transfer day was a good day, I worked in the walking Elders area with Elder Scovill. We went to one of the Recent Converts home in their area named Mellissa Garcia. She needed us to bug bomb her place and we kinda wanted to help her do it really badly. She had nine bug bombs so we went out and bought some bandanas so we could be moderatly safer and look like gangsters while we set the things off. Right when we started Elder Scovill sprayed one of the bombs directly in his face. So the whole time we were setting off the bombs he was super confused. Later that night when I found out that we would be in a triple-up with Elder Ehlert and Elder Conlin. Elder Conlin works in a town called St. Marys (its the farthest area away from the mission home you can be). His companion got sent home for medical issues the day of transfers. Normally Elder Conlin would serve in his district but we couldn't do that either because the missionary in his district is training and he needs to do that just more of a one on one thing. So we are now with him I was a little shocked although it has been fun having now 5 missionaries in the apartment, just a little cramped though. We went down to St. Marys that night and got Elder Conlin the stuff he needed for his extended stay and came back and moved the couch into our room so he would have a place to sleep "In the same room but not in the same bed." (As it says in the missionary handbook).
On Saturday was the most exciting thing that happened this week. We were able to teach our new investigator named Joshua. He has been recently going to another church and that has been bringing up a lot of questions, he met a member that goes to the Lima ward on-line and started talking to her about religion and she referred him to us. We had a very good first lesson with him and are planning on setting a Baptismal Date with him the next time we teach him. He almost came to church but didn't feel totally comfortable yet because it was Stake Conference.
Stake Conference was awesome by the way. It was a broadcast from Salt Lake with Elder Eyering, Elder Ballard and a couple other church leaders. They urged the members and missionaries in the north eastern part of the country to Repent and not justify sin, to do missionary work better and in more of a hurry because we are in the last dispensation and to be Optimistic. Also Pres. Eyering said something cool which was a quote from either the scriptures or another general authority. He said that the church would be ready for the second coming, so as long as your in it and trying to be better (having faith, repenting, keeping covenants, following the spirit in enduring to the end) all the problems would be taken care of because the church will be ready for the savior. I thought that was cool.
Well I love you all ta bits.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Epic Story.‏

We went through some pretty difficult experiences this week but they seem like nothing when we're working with Charlie Palmer. To let you know we had found a family last week and we were going to start working with them, the Anknee family. Well they were actually just trying to get money from the church and when we couldn't get to them, they dropped us. Also we had a lot of failed appoinments. So all that was a bit dissapointing but on Sunday the Lord showed us a blessing through an experience that Charlie had. Thursday he was at Wal-mart and when he came back to his car after shopping he discovered that someone had hit his car and knocked off his back bumper. Friday night he was coming home from a date with a member and he was praying to know what getting involved with the church will bring him. When he finished his prayer he realized he just missed his turn. So while he was flipping back around his car died on him. At this point he was getting very unhappy with how long it was taking him to get home. He went to go look under the hood of his car and then he heard somebody crying, he looked to see who it was. He saw a man walking around in some trees completly drunk and the mans car stuck on the train tracks. He then called the cops to tell them a car was stuck and they said that a train was going to be there in about 5 minutes and they weren't going to be able to stop it. So Charlie ended up having to do something about it. He went and grabbed some rope from his car tied it around the other car and came back to his car and realized that because the bumper of the car got smacked off by somebody in the walmart parking lot he was able to just tie it right on the metal bumper right underneath quite easily. He did so and somehow his car started so he could pull the other car off the tracks. He suceeded and then the train was coming. When the drunk guy saw this he started running toward the train to commit suicide. Charlie tackles the guy and save his life. Then when Charlie stood back up a rock that had been knocked up because of the car on the traintracks flew and hit Charlie right around his bottom right rib knocking him right into the ground. He went to the hospital and miraculously the rock hit in just a place where it wasn't going to cause any damage. He took this experience as an answer to his prayer and it built his testimoney quite a bit. Yeah...Charlie is awesome and I'm so grateful for Heavenly Father guiding him to the church. I loved talking with you all on Sunday as well. Transfer information came out last night. Elder Haines is being transferred in the same stake so I'll still get to see him a little bit and I also found out my most likely 99% sure next comp. His name is Elder Ehlert, he's another Zone Leader up in Toledo Ohio and his getting transferred in the same stake and Findlay is the only other Zone Leader area in this stake. So unless he gets released. I find out later today. Well I love you all.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, May 2, 2011

Taka Taka Time!‏

Had a pretty good week. There was quite a bit of potential for a Findlay flood this week. Findlay has a river that runs through it and I've heard of the town flooding more than once so its not to much of a surprise. It actually gives the church a very good name in the town. So we spent quite a bit of time helping a member prepare for it and then we helped him fix it back up when it was not going to flood anymore. We were able to teach Charlie twice this week. The first lesson with him was just awesome and the spirit was very present, plus the lesson just seemed to be perfectly adapted to him and all the concerns he was bringing up. The next lesson he had asked a question about church organization and priesthood organization so we spent quite a bit of time going over answers to those questions. Elder Haines and I decided the spirit needed to be more present in the lesson so we're gonna try to answer his question but also bring the spirit more. Another cool thing that happened is a we got a lesson in and a baptismal date with Tom Anknee. A couple weeks ago we got a call from a member in North Carolina about his brother that lives in our area and his family. His newborn twins were having breathing troubles so they requested a blessing for them. Elder Haines and I (with the help of a pre-missionary named Curtis Wilkerson) went and gave the blessing, when we left Elder Haines asked if we could call them in about a week and see how they are doing. So we did and we were able to get another appointment, plus the newborn's haven't had any trouble since(it's a different experience giving a baby a blessing). This time we went over there with (Father and RM) Bro. Kregar. The lesson went rather well Bro. Anknee accepted a baptismal date for June 11th and his daughter Lannie(11) sat in the lesson. At the end of the lesson his wife came home and we were able to talk to her too. All around it went pretty well and we'll be seeing them later on in the week. Also to give props to Elder Haines he wailed on Elder Scovill and I playing Risk a week ago. This week I was also able to go on an exchange with Elder Quarnberg in my zone. He's pretty great the weird thing was that I had gone on an exchange with him and Elder Perkins almost exactly a year ago in Fairlawn.
Well I love you all! Happy Mothers Day coming up here soon.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hallelujah!‏

This week has had some really good days. We had a Zone P-day on Monday, we played some basketball and stuff plus we went Lazer Tagging. Which was not as good as Lazer Assault in Provo but it did have a pirate ship. I fell down the stairs in the ship and hurt my rump. But it's OK because later that night Bro. Briggs took Elder Haines and I out to Red Lobster. That was a happy treat.
Tuesday we went to Lima's District meeting. After District meeting I took Elder Conlin to Findlay for an Exchange. He was doing a pretty good job working with me. He's from the same place as a Elder Dial in my mtc district and knew him pretty well. I was impressed with him.
Wednesday was the best day we've had in Findlay so far. I went to Findlay's District meeting and while we were leaving we found out that a 3:30 appointment with a potential new investigator was canceled. But the member that we were working with said for us to be at the church at around 6:30 to meet Charlie. Then we left the meeting so we could exchange back and then pick up AP Smith who would be going on a triple up exchange with us. The day went pretty normal until our appointment with Charlie. It was a super good lesson all around. Charlie committed to Baptism on the 28th of May. He has already read to B.O.M., Prayed about it, received his answer, and he's been to Kirtland with the member family that referred him. This has all happened since that one lesson on Wednesday and he was at church yesterday. He pretty much giving Tyler Bennett a run for his money on being golden.
We also found a few less-actives recently that might come back to church with our help and one of the less-active families did make it church which was awesome. Last night we were also able to give one of our investigators Kenneth Powell a blessing because of some recent health difficulty's. It's been a pretty good week and despite the difficulty coming into this area with not to many people to teach the Lord has been mindful so far.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, April 18, 2011

Click_Clack.‏

Well this week got quite a bit better than the previous couple. Our finding efforts are still underway and we are hoping to set a Bap. Date with Kenneth Powell this week. We'll have to see how that goes when it comes around. We had a zone meeting this week and I think that went pretty well. Hopefully the missionaries in the zone felt so as well.
This area seems to have a never-ending amount of service and I'm hoping it pays off as peoples hearts are softened.
Had an exchange with Elder Warner in Lima the other day. It was pretty good, Elder Warner is a good missionary and he is honestly trying to help the people in his area. He served with Elder Cardenaz in Defiance right after I served with him.
We were able to get inside the house of a less-active named Sis. Piddock there were quite a few non-members that could possibly be interested in the gospel. The missionaries in the past have worked them a little bit. But apparently most of her children chose to be offended a few years ago and it has been difficult ever since. But she was funny. She told a pretty dang good conversion story and didn't stop talking for probably over a half-hour.
Lets see... something cool that happened this week is we were able to ride in a members truck and the truck was pretty much the most comfortable truck I've ever been in. Plus when you back the car the rear view mirror has a small screen in it so you could see the people behind you. It was awesome.
Well I don't really have anything else to say. Love you to bits.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

Monday, April 11, 2011

Uno Mas.

Had a good week. Oh and I don't think I told everyone that I'm also in the same apartment as another set of Elders. They are pretty awesome Elder McMananamon and Elder Scovil (who came out with Elder Dowley). I really like being around other missionaries after like 8 months of being in area's that are pretty far away from other missionaries. It was difficult for Elder Haines and I to find people to teach this week. Although, but at the very end of day Sunday night we were stopping by formers and we came across a guy named Kenneth Powell. He was a Bible referral for a few years ago. He was meeting with the missionaries for a little while it sounds like but he just couldn't seem to receive an answer to weather the Book of Mormon is true or not. So we were able to pick him up as an investigator which is awesome because we just haven't been able to find people to teach the couple weeks I've been here. But there was a referral we received and we have been having trouble contacting her. Plus another referral yesterday that seems pretty solid from a return missionary. Hopefully the new investigator and potential's keep us busy. So that would be 3 people to start teaching, which would be really awesome to get this area back up and running.
It was super awesome to see the baptism of "A"(dawan) yesterday as well. She's an awesome lady that the walking Elders that live with us have been teaching. She feeds us a lot when we go over there for something or other. She owns a Thai food place. She is from Thailand too and is pretty hard to understand sorta but also really simple and funny. But anyways she got baptized yesterday and it was really awesome.
The ward I'm in now had 24 convert baptism's last year. Bishop Jones is super missionary oriented. Went to Germany on his mission as well where he met his wife.
The other investigators we teach have been difficult to get in contact with and one of them is going on a vacation for a little while (I haven't even met her yet. She sounds good just busy and stressed).
Elder Haines and his last companion Elder Dransfield helped a Part-Member family get baptized last transfer and I flipping love them. Aaron and Mandi Vermilion. They have 4 daughters that are all really cute and they make me giggle and laugh a lot. But they are pretty much amazing.
Well it's pretty awesome to have passed my year mark. A year from today should be my very last day in the mission and then a year from tomorrow
"I'll be back."~The Governator
(*)<~Elder Lance Sumsion

Monday, April 4, 2011

Current address

Elder Lance Sumsion
2001 A Sterling Ct.
Findlay, OH 45840

Find-a-lay-hee-who!‏

It has been an exciting transfer so far. Monday and Tuesday Elder Dowley and I were able to get some pretty good lessons in and I was assuming and then found out that I was being transferred so we said some goodbyes. Mainly to Jordyn Dickey who became just a really great friend. I feel that the Ashtabula area is quite a bit better than when I got there with the help we offered to the Fay family and also with the baptism of Tyler Bennett who is just a wonderful young man. I was super grateful that I was able to see him pass the sacrament before I left. There was more I wish I could've done there but all in all I did my duty.
Well...Tuesday night Pres. Sorenson called and I was released as a District Leader which wasn't to much of a surprise because that happens a lot when you get transfered. Although the cool thing is that he called me to be a Zone Leader. So that was pretty neat and made me excited for this upcoming transfer.
After I was all finished packing Elder Dowley who had recently gotten his driving privleges which made him the happiest missionary in the world. He drove us over to Perry Area where I picked up Elder Barlow who was also being transfered. Then Elder Dowley and I parted ways. He's a good missionary and he'll go far in the mission over time. Then we went to Kirtland for transfer meeting. When we got there I found out I would be serving in Findlay, Ohio with Elder Haines from Orem. He goes home in August. He's the first companion I've had that I actually met before. Partially because he was my Zone Leader when I was in Ashland. So he's pretty experienced and has been awesome to serve with so far.
After the meeting we drove to Perrysburg and then from there to Findlay which took about two hours. When we got to Findlay we found out that we would be driving to St. Mary's that night. It was a pretty cool experience to drive from the far northeast corner (Ashtabula) of the mission to the southwest corner (St. Mary's (also known as outer darkness sometimes because it is so far away)) of the mission. It was quite a treat actually to see so much of the mission in one day since I've never been to the western side of it. Well...I'm excited to see what new experiences Heavenly Father has in store for Elder Haines and I. It has been awesome so far especially with the amazing General Conference we just had.
Well I love you all.
(*)<~Elder Sumsion