Monday, January 30, 2012

L.ost I.n M.iddle A.merica‏

Honestly it has been a real good week. Elder Woomer and I have been working hard and doing pretty good at finding people to teach, (which also includes lots of driving and not just normal driving but rather boring and un-entertaining driving until you reach the next city which seems to just go by so very fast) thanks to the help of a couple YSA's in the ward, plus some efforts on our part.
First off we ended up tracting into a part-member family (which i think I've already mentioned) and they have been away from the church for about 10 years and Denise the member has been having some kidney issues so we have been visiting her about every other day at the hospital and we found this out Monday night when we went back and ended up talking with her husband Glenn and picking him up as an investigator along with one of their sons Jacob. It's been a little difficult to teach Glenn and Jacob again but we have been teaching Denise in the hospital and bringing various members by as well which has been great.
Andrea Crites a recent convert that I actually interviewed for baptism in like march or something like that. She has been helping us out (a ton) and introduced us to two of her friends from school, Isabella and Felecia. They are both about 16 and are kinda caught up with the cares of the world because so was I when I was a teenager. However, I think they recognize that the church would be a really good thing in their life. They both came to the ward social Friday night.
Plus we have started actively teaching Shanin a girlfriend of Jared a member out here. At first she was very shy but I think she's warming up to us because since the first lesson she has been communicating with us much more. She actually kinda bore a small testimony that the church teaches good stuff after a ward party to Isabella. It was pretty sweet. She's coming along and coming to church and has been 3 times already which is way cool.
Also yesterday a head/quarters referral came to church that we have been having difficulty getting a hold of because the name was wrong. On the text message we received it said Markus. So we called and asked for Markus and the person said "Sorry wrong number" and then Good-bye. Well his name is Austin Hadley and he's been studying about the church on-line and just studying theology in general. He's planning on writing a paper about religions. He's pretty cool, we taught him yesterday after church and he said he would be baptized if he knew the Book of Mormon was true. Pretty neat kid.
That was pretty much my week. Love you all. Good things are happening.
(*)<~Elder Lance Sumsion

Monday, January 23, 2012

Biggest area say what?‏

Kind of an interesting start to this new area. Wednesday was spent driving to my new area with Elder Judd my new ZL and Elder Lincoln a pretty funny missionary who will now be serving with my son Elder Dowley who was also in the car with us. I'm super excited to be in the same zone as him again by the way.
I've been enjoying my time here these past few days and I'm grateful to have been sent here. It was kinda cool because when I was in Findlay i came on exchanges here like 2 or 3 times. I'm grateful for that because the area is the biggest in the mission and it was a bit overwhelming to come into it at first. This area is bigger than the Kirtland Stake which just totally crazy. Needless to say I've been doing a lot of driving recently.
We've been pretty much just been knocking doors the whole time and we've succeeded for the most part. A couple doors we've gotten into and one of them may be some less-actives that have fallen off the radar of the church because of moving a couple time and not being active after moving the first time. Their names are Glen and Denise Washington a good couple and hopefully they end up going somewhere. The other door we got in was just yesterday but the wife was just not as interested as the husband. There is a lot of people to work with here and I'm grateful to be serving with Elder Woomer. His giggly attitude just brightens my day no matter what. When I got to East Cleveland Elder Woomer was just starting his mission just right next to my area in a place called Euclid. He was only there for 2 transfers and has been here for 2 transfers as well.
The ward is just great here and someone that use to live here said she was related to Sumsion's. Her maiden name is Humphrey (not sure if it's spelled like that. I'm not even sure if that's the spelling I'm related too). Anyway they moved, and it was Bro. and Sis. Monday, I met them when I was in Findlay on exchanges with Elder Warner here.
Well I love you all to bit's. My 7th area is called Lima and you wouldn't know that until right now unless you cheated and scrolled to the bottom of the page. : P
Love you
(*)<~Elder Sumsion

My new address is:
Elder Lance Sumsion
2092 Edgewood Dr.
Lima, OH 45805

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Prepare and prevent rather than repair and repent." Bish. David Vineyard‏

"If you want something to be special, you have to treat it differently."

It has been such a good week honestly. The people we have been working with and have found are a little bit better than they were when we found them and one in particular is almost ready for baptism.
Chris Davis is our best investigator and he is going full speed ahead to his baptismal date of January 28th. The only issue I can see with him is attending the ward he's supposed to be going too. His godmother is a member of the shaker ward and she is the one that helped him start investigating in the first place. So he's attended that ward 3 times and ours once. I think that he'll come around though when he really starts developing stronger friendships with the members in the 3rd ward. He has been off smoking for almost 2 weeks now and coffee as well.
We found another great person named Mike Thomas and we taught him a week ago and he says some of the best prayers I've ever heard. We taught him on the 9th but for some reason we haven't been able to contact him since the 11th. I have very high hopes for him as well.
Other investigators that we have not taught in a while have let us into their home and though they are still busy they do want to progress and change their lives they just have to make time for God honestly.
Well we received transfer information last night...after a great Monday of work. Elder Stevens and I had 3 pretty much awesome lessons just happen in a row which forced us to skip our dinner and move it to a later time in the day. First was with Chris Davis and then we visited Tiffany Sumner (both of these lessons were with the help of Bro. Tyler Smith). Then we finished our night with Amanda and one of her friends Chris. We taught in Deweys Coffee shop, which is always a fun place to teach. The atmosphere would be 100 times better without one thing. But oh well, the lesson went well and then we walked with both of them home because they live in the hood. Which is pretty much this whole area.
Yeah I'm being transferred tomorrow to almost positively my last area. I feel very bittersweet about the whole thing I love it here but change is very, very necessary. It has been a real treat to be here and I've seen some of the difference me being here has made mostly with less-actives coming back to church, but Pam Payne should be getting baptized in the Shaker Ward soon and Elder Prince and I were the ones to start teaching her. I will have many, many memories of working in this part of the vineyard.
I really do love it here.
Love you all so much.
(*)<~Elder Lance Sumsion

Monday, January 9, 2012

Why don't you ask for yourself?‏

"It is the Holy Ghost that, as you speak in hostile venues, puts into your heart what you should say and fulfills the Lord’s promise that “you shall not be confounded before men” (D&C 100:5). "
~Elder D. Todd Christofferson

It has been a great week...I would say. Lots and lots of talking to people, it got to be very exhausting but we were able to find and teach somehow. I still discover that when we work hard things happen. A lot of the people that we come in contact with are either crazy, overcome by the world and the traditions of their fathers; but every now and then we finally find someone really in tune with the spirit or someone that want's to follow God and because of their circumstances they haven't.
There is a guy named Mike that when we started talking about prayer he said can I say one. So right there we did a prayer circle thing and it was honestly a very sincere and completely correct way of praying. Both Elder Stevens and I were very impressed with him, we are going to teach him tonight and I'm pretty excited about it.
Chris Davis got back in contact with us and we taught him and that went really well, he said he would come to church and he did but for some reason he went to his Godmothers ward.
Another very interesting thing that happened this week is we went to a lesson with a member with this person named Tyrone and his family. When we got there he had forgotten that we were coming and he was currently being taught by two Jehovah Witness'. Well they told us to come in and so we did and they shared a nice message about the Lords prayer and then they said we could teach. So we wanted to start with a prayer like usual but there was a dispute with them wanting us to start by saying Dear Jehovah. They took us to some scripture is Psalms that said Jehovah in capital letters, Elder Stevens handled it very well and after a little bit more calm disputation we were able to pray like Christ in the Lords prayer ;). Then we just testified of the Book of Mormon before any other contentions could come back up and invited everyone to read it, prayed again and got out of there. It went very well. Last night we taught them again and sang with them and it went very very well.
Also yesterday while we were teaching a lady named Keshelle a friend or relative of hers named Phil came up and caused a slight bit of contention and we were pretty sure that he was a little buzzed from alcohol. He eventually left without anything really bad happening.
Well next week is transfers again so we will be emailing on Tuesday and I might get the boot out of dear old Cleveland.
Love you all.
(*)<~Elder Lance Sumsion

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Week and New Years Week.‏

Christmas Week!

“What you get by achieving your objective is not nearly as important as what you will become by achieving it.”
I had a good week. It's nice to relax and learn from the spirit how much your loved by your leaders, by your friends and also by your family. We had a decent bit of difficulty this week due to the fact that we either couldn't get appointments with those we are teaching or we couldn't get members to come out with us because they have gone west or they are busy with the Christmas season. Tuesday was really great, I enjoyed growing in unity as a mission and just feeling the spirit. Very few times in my life will I have opportunities like Christmas in Kirtland.
The investigators we have been working with have once again stopped answering their phones and doors. So we are yet again back to the beginning of finding and praying for miracles and also praying that the ones that have dispersed will get in contact with us again.
Caroling on the 24th was a wonderful experience, I never thought I would end up in the home of Bro. and Sis. Anderson. It was a great experience and I think we really touched some hearts.
Christmas day was wonderful and I will never forget it. I'm glad to be out here testifying of the Restoration. My family could not be more proud of me and that feels good. I know that people here have needed me in someway that I will never fully understand but I've seen. I love seeing people grow and become better.

New Years Week!

"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing is changed, but that our power to do is increased."
~Pres. Heber J. Grant

Sorry this e-mail is so late by the way. We have had exceeding difficulty getting to the library this week due to closure on Monday and because we have been busy.
It has been quite the week. We have had to shift a lot of our focus towards finding because we can't seem to get members out with us this season. They have been very busy and or out of town but nevertheless we try our best. We have spent a significant amount of time just talking to people on the Cleveland bus system. Due to that we end up handing out a decent amount of referrals but we have found some really good people that we will hopefully start teaching soon.
A promising girl named Amanda walked on to the rapid a couple weeks ago and a week ago we were able to teach her. She is very intelligent and I'm hoping things keep progressing with her. She's a little shaky about making life changes which has made it difficult for us to obtain further teaching appointments. But she believes in Jesus Christ and is following him as much as she feels she can right now.
We were able to get back in contact with Chris Davis this week and we have an appointment with him Friday night. He has an Obamaphone with limited minutes and he had run out making it difficult for us to contact him. However he could've made more of an effort to get in contact with us during the few weeks we haven't heard from him. I am very grateful that he did call us because he is a very good guy.
Lots of other people on the radar because this is Cleveland and there is lots of people, but I don't know how things will turn out with them yet so we will see.
I love you all, Jesus Christ lives and this is his one and only true church. Stay chipper because he loves you too.
(*)<~Elder Lance Sumsion