The Junkyard

March 25, 2013

Ni Hao!
So much happened this week.
I did the Junkyard. Pictures pretty much say it. I didn't rush it, and did it in about 10 minutes, and was the second one to finish it out of the four that actually did. I ate all the fried zucchini and 3 cups of diet coke and root beer. Felt awesome!

The Junkyard

Doin' it!

Early in the week, on our way to our District Meeting, we got a text from Jeff and Ashely, our most progressing investigators, saying that they had "talked, and have decided to discontinue the lessons and find their own path to God." We were super bummed. We planted the seed, but we were still bummed. Oh well. BUT! Later that day we set up a return appointment with a stranger we left a prayer with (more on that later), and had an amazing lesson with a new investigator named Omar. He is a super funny guy, and (if he finds these things to be true) is on date for baptism on May 4! We have met once more with him since, and really enjoys talking to us. He said if it brings him closer to God, than he will definitely follow it. He is one of my favorite investigators. 
We had a great lesson on Faith with Josh. We saw a bottle on his porch, and we got scared. Turned out to be a root beer bottle, so he is still doing great! Sober 3 weeks now!
We started teaching this homeless girl named Lena that we had left a prayer with a long time ago. She is moving from friend's house to friend's house. Really nice. We put her on date for May 18th. We gave her a Book of Mormon, which is when she told us she can't read. She is 19. BUT. She is a white Mexican. She can speak perfect English (which she didn't learn till she was in 4th grade), but hardly any Spanish, but can READ in Spanish, but hardly any English. We got her a Spanish BoM, and am looking forward to teaching her further.
Had a Trainer-Trainee meeting, which was great. Wonderful talks from Pres. and Sis. Smart.\
We got news of who was leaving and coming when transfers came around. We are getting a new Zone leader, who is apparently really cool. Everyone in our district is staying expect the Spanish Elders, who are getting doubled out for two Spanish speaking Sisters. As cool as that is, our ride to meetings and Wal-Mart is now gone, since we can't ride with the Sisters. Ugh. Will have to figure something out.
Sunday was amazing. Josh and his family stayed the full three hours of church. If Josh was paying attention, which he seemed to be, then the things that were taught that day should have really hit hard to him. After dinner, we went and taught Jake, the son of the lady who we left a prayer with earlier that week. We only taught him, since he and his mom work different times and have different times off. In a nutshell, Jake really wants to get baptized. He asked us "What do I need to do to get baptized? Can I get baptized tomorrow?" It caught us off guard. We obviously wanted him to know more about the church and the importance of baptism, which is where is knowledge was lacking. He had never heard of the Book of Mormon till we showed it to him! And he is 20! He is excited to read it. He told us that after we left the prayer/blessing with him, the next day he was driving to work. A guy honked a bunch at him. Jake finally looked and saw the guy pointing a whole bunch to Jake's front right tire. He pulled over, and saw that another piece of tire with some metal on it was stuck to his tire. He yanked it out, and realized that if he had got for maybe 10 minutes more, his tire would have blown. SO. If we hadn't stopped a lady and offered her a prayer, she would not have called her son out. If we had not invited them to be baptized after the prayer, we would not have learned that Jake really wanted to get baptized. We would have never made a return appointment, and would have never had him on date FOR APRIL 6TH. We are planning on doing it between sessions of G.C. This is going to be an awesome transfer.
After that, Omar canceled because he was sick (dang it), but we did help teach a stranger from Nigeria how to ride a bike. At 8:00. for 35 minutes. Cool dude. We then went to Walgreens to talk to people, where we "coincidentally" ran into a lady E. Hayden  had talked to a while ago. She asked if we could leave a prayer with her (which we did), get another copy of the BoM (which we did), and if we got eventually get her a Spanish copy for her cousin (which we just happened to have since we got one for Lena and one just in case). Really a great night.
That's all from California! I still can't believe I am am a missionary. It just feels normal now. I am loving it.
PLEASE GIVE ME EMAIL ADDRESSES. HOME ADDRESSES. ANYTHING. I like writing people. I love it more when they write me back. :)
Love you all. Enjoy the cold. 

Elder Summerhays

Another Week in the Mish'

March 11, 2013
Hey! people who are and aren't related to me,
Did you get my letter I sent out a bit ago? Let me know.
Tuesday we had dinner at a 7th Day Adventists home.  They have taken the lessons about 3 different times in 3 different places.  There's really nothing new we can teach them. We are relying on pure revelation to find something that will touch their hearts. They are a really awesome family. We are going to help them paint the inside of their house soon.
We were coming home from service, and saw two guys in their yard drinking beer.  I don't remember who started the conversation, but eventually the main guy we were talking with said "Hey, did you guys get your bikes stolen?" "How did you know?" "Oh, I'm Mr. Beaumont! I know everything that happens!" "Yeah, okay".   So he was pretty sketchy.  Funny guy though.  Colorful language.  He and his friend started asking us stupid questions that aren't appropriate to repeat-- just know it was slightly awkward, at least for us. He is going back to prison on Wednesday.  He said that if we could beat him in a game of chess, he would give us 30 minutes of his time.  Later that week, we prayed, and went to his house.  I haven't played chess for a year.  I lost.  He's good.  What else do you do in prison, I guess.  My comp will play him next time, though he's no better. I did blow his mind with some simple magic tricks though,  so no one-upping for him!

Still haven't met with John. One day...
Got into what I can a "respectful bash" with a Born Again. Nice guy, and he legitimately wanted to know what our church thought about certain things.  It didn't really go anywhere, but at least it was not as bad as a bash could have gone.
        Also, that day I drank about 8 glasses of limeade.  Lunch and dinner it was served.  So good.  Too much though.
I had an investigator read 13 chapters of the BoM in a day! We couldn't actually teach him this week, but we briefly checked on him to see how he was doing.  He had some good questions, such as what does "Yea" mean, why did God tell Nephi to chop off that guys head, and if it is okay to underline and highlight in the Book of Mormon.  He'll be baptized,  sooner or later.

I got a huge kink in my neck. I bought a knock-off Icy/Hot patch.  It was just hot.  I was really scared that I would take it off and discover some degree of burn.   I'm fine though.

We helped our neighbor with some yard work.  We were hoping to teach her more about our church.  We brought up the subject of religion. It turns out that she is a apart of Religious Science, or more frankly, a transcendentalist. 'God is in us, and we are in God'. She's about 50 something.  So no convincing her.  She did give us these massive lemons, though!

I gave a talk in church, and have gained a new testimony on the power of fasting. The morning of, I felt that I needed to fast. I really wanted to touch people's hearts. I was reminded of the story of the Sons of Mosiah. I forget specifically where the story is, but it pretty much said they spake with the power and authority of God through fasting and prayer. My talk was on Sharing the Gospel With Your Friends. I worked really hard on it. THE best talk I have ever given. I am now always going to prepare (at least) a day in advance for talks, and fast the morning of. I based my talk of the First presidency message in the Feb Ensign, though I added a lot of my own stuff.

Dinner that night was great, and I am glad to say that I got that family, or at least the husband, hooked on Sherlock. He thinks it's way better than Dexter, and he is a huge Dexter fan. He watched all the episodes in three days. Now I have someone to talk about the finale!

Today, I am going to do the Junkyard! There is a store called the Sandwich Stoppe, and is owned by a convert (7 years). He gives us 10% off! The Junkyard is about 2.5 pounds, and has something like two eggs, a giant layer of different types of sandwich meats, a couple patties, cheese, mayo, and other stuff. We are all doing it as a district.

That's pretty much it for here. Please send me letters or emails! Pictures greatly appreciated too!

Love you all,                       Elder Summerhays

Missionary Life

When I punctured my middle finger wrestling. Lady gave me a Winnie the Pooh rag. The blood was literally pouring out. This is after squeezing it for about five or six minutes. Small hole, lots of blood. :)

Got a hair cut today!  I know you wanted to see this, :)

The Redlands Temple

Some Fun News

March 11, 2013


So, I will start off with two fun bits of news we received this week.

New Boundaries:
Murrieta to the Carlsbad Mission
Palm Desert, Redlands, Yucaipa and Yucca Valley to the Redlands Mission
Corona, Hemet, Jurupa, Menifee, Moreno Valley and Riverside to the Riverside Mission
Not sure if they are just going to keep missionaries when the switch happens (July 1st, in the middle of a transfer) but we will see. This potentially means that I won't be able to see my friend's family in Murietta. Oh well.

I can now EMAIL and receive email from recent converts, OTHER MISSIONARIES, AND FRIENDS!!! So, please have everyone send me there email, whether it be through Facebook or them just sending me an email so I can write them! I still love hand written letters, though, which may work better for me. This way I don't have to "waste" time reading your email during my email time, and just use the whole time responding to it.

So there's that. Now for what has happened this week.
Our investigator Josh is: 
       Good news: Quitting Alcohol
       Bad news: won't be home for a month
He is at his parents house to help him quit. Talked to him on the phone yesterday, seems like he is doing fine. Hoping to see him soon so we can start teaching him again.
Had a lesson with Jeff and Ashley, people we tracted into my first day here, and it was AMAZING. It was super amazing. He loved the concept of families being together forever, and agreed with most of what he said. The only concerns he has (so far) is why go to church when he has us, and why pay tithing (which he knew about before hand) when he is generally really charitable anyway? We will cross that bridge later. Gave them a Book of Mormon and Proc. of the Fam. to read. Meeting with them Wednesday.
I loved the birthday letter and the cards from the Lewis girls! Keep them coming!!!
Ran into a Pentecostal youth minister while on an exchange. He was really cool, and we agreed with everything he said! Why we are here on earth, the BoM is not adding to the Bible, families are the most important thing. He said all of these things! The best part is that after we prayed for him on his door step, he wanted to pray for us. It was a pretty intense prayer. He touched our arms a lot, asking the Lord to protect us, etc. I could really feel the Spirit. The best part of the prayer is when he said "FATHER GOD, PLEASE BLESS THESE YOUNG MEN, THAT THEY MAY GO OUT AND BAPTIZE, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, JESUS CHRIST, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST!" Already doing that, my friend. Already doing that. We expect to meet with him again sometime soon.
We went to teach a 10 y/o investigator who's grandma is a convert. We instead starting talking/teaching a guy that was there who's mom was the victim of a brutal homicide down the street! It was really powerful stuff. The next time we went to teach the 10 y/o, she was actually leaving, and we talked to the guy again! Gave him a BoM, basically told him it would solve his problems with smoking, drinking, etc. He said he would read it whenever he got the chance. He is going back to N. Carolina, so we won't get to meet with him again. He has our number, though.

For service, one day, we helped a guy demolish his house. Tore down a couple walls with a sledge hammer. Picked up and hauled a couple hundred pounds of shingles and stuck-em rubble.  Didn't bring camera. Just picture it. It was cool. A lot of work, but cool.
We ran into John, an awesome investigator who is too busy. Still haven't met with him, lesson-wise. He didn't answer the door at first, but did later- in his towel. Awkward and funny at the same time. We rescheduled (which fell through).
It was ward conf. at church. Some good talks. Good meetings. Had dinner with a family who knew my friend and his family from Murietta. Small world.
Fun story of the week. Our roommate companionship had their bikes stolen out of our garage. Me and my comp. usually lock our bikes, because our garage is just one big room, sectioned off slightly, with multiple doors. The other elders just leave their bikes in the garage without locking them up. Told em' so. I suggested calling the cops, or at least a brother in our ward that is a policeman. Until then, they borrowed some bikes. Then, at 11:30 at night, we hear a pounding on the door. My comp answers, and it's our policeman brother, dressed in a hoodie, sweats, and moccasins, with the bikes! Comp asked "Where did you get them?" He said "That's not important. Just know that the people that stole your bikes now know not to steal from the missionaries or the church!" 
So that was pretty exciting.
That's the word from California! How is it going out there?  Animation Chefs still going strong? Is our lizard Sydney still alive?

Elder Summerhays

Hi. I'm Elder Summerhays, and you're not.

Date: Mon, Mar 4, 2013

Dear Easterners,
This week has been eventful and disappointing. A lot has happened, so don't expect this letter to flow.
Finally met an investigator that we have had trouble meeting with since he is so busy. His name is John. He loves golf, and his son does magic tricks. Jackpot.
We went to meet a good referral. They weren't home. Decided to make some phone calls while in their drive way. Five minutes later, the family pulls up. She invites us in. Showed her kids a bunch of tricks. They have taken the discussions before, and are pretty interested. Right before we were about to leave, her husband pulls up in the driveway, so we got to meet him as well. Great family. Excited to teach them. They are 7th Day Adventists, so it will be interesting to learn (potentially) more about what they believe. We are having dinner there in the upcoming weeks, and are going to help them paint the inside of their house. Lots o' fun.
Met a new, inactive convert. She reminded me a bunch of our former neighbor Kathy. Great lady.
Biked 3.5 miles uphill to pull fox tails for a lady. I got a fun rash on my hands. She promises gloves next time.
The main stumbling block that we have been running into, I would say, is that people think we believe in a different Jesus than them. I'm starting to believe it my self. We don't want to bash with them, but we have plenty of scripture to "prove" them wrong. Oh well. When they are ready, they have our number.
We are teaching a guy named Josh, who is slowly but surely progressing. Remember him in your prayers if you can to help him with the Word of Wisdom.
We went to the Redlands Temple.  Super pretty.  I will try to upload pictures. I forgot my camera, but my comp. had his. Super beautiful.

Talked to a Brother that had visited Morocco for work. It was awesome to finally meet someone who could appreciate what I know and did, and visa-versa.
The depressing, reaccuring event that seems to keep happening is that our appointments keep dropping. We had one service and 4 lessons drop in one day! We have only managed to have two lessons all week, and it was with the same guy.

I am proud to say that I, Elder Summerhays, with no prior knowledge or experience, except from Grandma R. 10 or so years ago, SEWED A WHOLE IN MY SUIT PANTS ALL BY MY SELF. It looks pretty good. Should hold. Hopefully.
Had Stake conference. Called a new presidency. Wasn't has awesome as our stake conferences, but still good.
While tracting, we met someone. He said he was from a small town in Utah we probably never heard of. I said try me. He said Annabella. We wasn't born there, so I am not related to him, but he's pretty sure he knows Grandpa. His name is John Williams. Let Grandpa know.
Here's something that you guys will get a kick out of. This morning, we went to help someone move a couch out of their house. They were an older couple, about mid 60s. I saw an Xbox 360 with a bunch of games in a cupboard. I joked with her, asking if she has grandkids that come over often. She says nope, SHE PLAYS THEM. Here are a list of games of the top of my head that this 65 year old women has been playing for a couple of years: Red Dead Redemption, DeadRising3, Skyrim, Oblivion, Fallout, Bioshock, Nightmare, and nearly every Cabella's Hunting game. She says that she can't wait for Bioshock Infinite, because they have delayed it twice! SHE HAS PLAYED ALL OF THESE GAMES AND THEN SOME. And the best part? She said something along the lines of, if not exactly, "I'm retired! I need something to do with my time and money". SOUND FAMILIAR?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! We recommended her to get Halo 4 and Black Ops 2. She says she's thinking about it. This lady probably has about 30 or 40 Xbox 360 games. Me and the other missionaries thought this was hilarious. We may be going on a fishing trip one of these Pdays with her husband, who is pretty cool. 
That is the extent of my week. The dropped appointments have been pretty disappointing, but there have been plenty of high points. This weeks is looking to be a little more eventful.

Love you all,
Elder Summerhays

Doing Fine

Date: Feb. 25, 2013


Sorry Mom, I haven't got your letter yet. The mail hasn't come yet today, and I am not sure how fast the Mission Office is at forwarding mail. I am looking forward to it though.

It has been quite a past few days. One of our great investigators, Calvin, got baptized a couple days ago. He is married to a member, and wanted to take the lessons. He is one of those people that has been practically living the LDS lifestyle, but just was not baptized. He and his wife are great. He and and our Assistant Ward Mission Leader beat me and E. Hayden in pool, but only because I scratched on the 8 ball. Gah. I also played the piano at his baptism. I forget the title, but it was hymn #100. I had never played it before. My sight reading and the Spirit definitely helped me out on that one.
I have never felt so out of shape in my life. I am going to have the biggest, muscular legs at the end of my mission. We biked 3.5 miles up hill to mow a member's lawn (we have to go back on Wednesday to finish), but the bike ride down hill was super fun. Somewhat looking forward to it again.
The power went out a couple times one day. So when it happened again a couple days ago, we figured it would turn back on in 15 minutes. IT TOOK THREE HOURS!!! Our microwave dinner was cooked on a gas stove in the dark. It was delicious. We were only there for about an hour till we had to go teach Calvin.
I thoroughly enjoyed church on Sunday. The ward is fantastic. I taught an improv lesson in Gospel Principles on the Holy Ghost. It went a lot better than I expected. Priesthood meeting was great too. I introduced myself. Now everyone knows I do magic. Mission accomplished.
E. Hayden forgot his keys, so a good couple hours of the day was spent biking around, contacting. It was good, though. We ran into a few people he hadn't seen for a while, and set up some appointments.

While it was not the most "eventful" past four or so days, it has been quite the learning experience. I am starting to memorize scriptures again. Have any good ones for me?
OH! I tried something awesome. I turned a toaster on it's side, put a piece of bread with cheese on it on the bottom part, than a plain piece of bread on the top part. After a little bit, they both popped out, onto my plate, on top of each other. It was awesome. I will try to take a picture sometime.

Looking forward to read the letter. Feel better Ben!
Love you all,

Elder Summerhays

58 New Missions!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Just take a look at the new announcement. Bruce Summerhays apparently is up for release as well. I hope my friend's hometown, Murietta, isn't taken out of my mission. I will know by July. 

Elder Summerhays

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Elder Summerhays,

This is an exciting time to be a full time missionary as the Lord  hastens His work.  More and more young men and young women are accepting  the Prophet's invitation and call to serve.

Today in the  Church News 58 new missions are bring announced.  Many of these  new missions will come from realigning boundaries of existing missions.  Our mission will be one of those that will have its boundaries changed.   The actual change will take place in July but the announcement of  those changes is happening today.  Our mission as it exists today, will be  modified and become a part of three missions: the California Riverside  Mission, the California Redlands Mission and the California Carlsbad  Mission.

I am giving you permission to access LDSChruchNews.COM today  where you can read about the exciting announcement.  The paper will not be published until tomorrow morning but the online version is available now.  Go online to LDSChurchNews.COM and see for yourself  this historic announcement.
What  this will mean for each of us individually, I don't yet know.  I only  know that we are all here at this time because we are strong and we can  help the Lord as He hastens His work.

With Love,
President Smart

Pickle Sandwiches

My companion and I eating pickle sandwiches (thanks for the idea Dad!)  We love them!!! Lunch for the next while.

Starting out with a Summerhays missionary special : Pickle Sandwich

The Tradition started 30 years ago when Dad was forced to have a pickle sandwich on his mission. Mayo & dill pickle slices between two pieces of bread. Dad did not want to try it,  but his companion insisted it was the cheapest most tasty treat available. He was converted to the concoction for life.
Try one and see what you think. It was one of the first rites-of-passage I designed for my companion and myself in honor of Dad.

Yukaipa Zone: Beaumont

Yukaipa Zone - the Inland Empire

Beaumont, California 

Beaumont is a city in Riverside County, California, United States.
Now a growing, community planned city, the population was 36,877 at the 2010 census, and expected to be up to 125,000 projected by 2040, making Beaumont as California's next, newest fastest-growing city.[2]
Beaumont's neighbor cities include Banning to the east and Calimesa to the west, which faces the San Bernardino County line and the unincorporated community of Cherry Valley to the north.

Beaumont reaches an average of up to 95 degrees high Fahrenheit during the summer and 52 degrees low Fahrenheit during the winter. Due to its higher elevation, it is usually 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than its neighboring lower-elevation cities, such as Riverside, San Bernardino, Hemet/Perris/San Jacinto, and the Palm Springs desert area. Snow is rare.
Beaumont's slightly cooler temperatures and less smoggy air, compared to its neighboring lower-elevation cities, makes it an attractive, desirable area for development in the Los Angeles Inland Empire (California) region. However, it is one of the windiest cities in Southern California.
Annual precipitation is approximately 17"
As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 11,384 people, 3,881 households, and 2,782 families residing in the city.  In the city the population was spread out with 33.0% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 17.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older.


Date: Feb. 21, 2013

Dear family,

It has been quite the ride these past couple days. There is way too much to talk about in one email, let alone have the time to. The airplane ride there was great. I sat next to another missionary in the emergency seats, so we got extra leg room. Also, one missionary recognized me, since his mom contacted my mom. I forget his name, but it sounded familiar at the time. Mom certainly is getting around on these blogs and groups. Pres. Smart seems like a professional-but-laid-back guy. As he greeted us at the airport, he apparetly had memorized where everyone was from. "E. Summerhays... from Connecticut. Nice to meet you." Everyone says he is great, and my initial interview with him went great. He said I should be fine not having a license, as there are a good bunch of people who are in my position as well. I get a special blue dot next to my face! :) The temporary bike that is at the apartment is horrible, so I will be calling the mission office today for them to send me a new one till mine comes. Orientation at the mission office was sped up since the Church for some reason sent us in later than usual. Despite what Dad said, I did not stay at the mission home (which is Pres. Smart's house); I got my trainer and went directly to my apartment. 

My trainer is E. Hayden from Virginia, and is a great guy. I was worried about who my first trainer would be, and was afraid that God would want me to go through "trials" to learn some lessons that way. He was nice, though, and gave me a fellow East Coaster. He has only been out 12 weeks, and just barely finished his training. He is super knowledgeable, though, and knows exactly what he is doing. This first 5 weeks (this transfer has been shortened for a reason I forget) will be fun. Our apartment is great too! I forgot to take pictures of it. I will do that after our first P-day (pretty messy, but awesome). A previous Elder bought a Total Gym for about $150, which is now in our desk room. We also share it with two other missionaries, who are awesome. E. Synder has been out 20 months and is from Florida. E. Reed has been out one day, and is from Idaho. Our library is a two minute walk away, and there are plenty of Wallgreen type stores and restaurants near by. It is probably the best area to be in, especially for my first transfer. My first area, by the way, is the Yucaipa zone in Beaumont, or as it is nicknames, Blowmont. So windy here.

The next morning, it was FREAKING SNOWING! I DID NOT ESCAPE THE COLD WEATHER AT ALL. E. Hayden said that they made a snowman a few weeks ago. It may be a while before I experience the typical California weather.

Tracting was more fun than I thought. We are using a relatively new tactic that the Pres. wants us to use, which is called a Harvest Blessing. Paraphrased: Hi, as reps. of Jesus Christ, we are sent to send peace and blessing to homes and families in the form of a prayer. Is this something you would want? *Pray* Will you be baptized? Can we come back at a later time? Thank you. We have had some surprising success. We have also had the "not interested" people that slowly close the door as we talk. Pretty funny. 

We met a guy named Jeff. He works in Aerospace, which is super awesome, and is building his own drag racer in his garage to race. He has to be in his early 30s, and is super nice. We are meeting with him later today to potentially help him with his car. 

We also met Steve. What we thought was going to be a Bible bash was NOT. He would ask a question, then actually LISTEN to what we had to say? He even asked about the Revelation scripture talking about not adding to the book. Me and my trainer probably had the biggest grins on our faces, because that was something we were definitely prepared for. I never thought I would run into someone that would ask that question! Steve seems really cool and knowledgeable, and we meet with him again next Saturday. Please pray for these guys that we may have success and that they will be ready to accept the gospel!

One of the first things that my trainer said to me after learning we were going to be companions was "Oh, by the way, we have a baptism this Saturday." That was a fun surprise! We met with Calvin and his new wife Wendy, who was inactive but is now going to Church again. Calvin is one of those people were the only difference between him and a member is baptism. He was already following and believing every principle the missionaries taught him. I was there to teach the Law of Chasity and Tithing. That was fun. He, of course, agreed to follow it, we just needed to make sure that we shared everything with him. He loves Top Gear, and I told him to watch, after the Restoration movie, Dowton Abbey and Sherlock. We will also be back there on P day to play him and his wife in pool. He is someone I will definitely want to keep in touch with. Great guy. Pray that the baptism goes well and is on time. Just kidding, baptisms are never on time. Just pray that is goes well. 

This morning, our heat shut off for some reason. We woke up to 55ยบ. Super cold. I turned on the gas stove to try to heat it up. It just made that area warm. 

I am super excited for everything! So far no troubles at all. Except the bike, but don't worry. Please pray for me and our friends that everything will go great and safely. 

ALSO, just send mail to the mission office. It is the 5900 Grand Ave address. I know you have it somewhere. Post it on facebook. This way, if I get transfered, I don't have to worry about missing any mail. 

I love you all, and look forward to emailing you again on Monday! (Library was closed Monday, so today is email day)

Be safe. Have fun. Church is true. 

Elder Summerhays

Week 3 !!!

Date: Monday February 18, 2013

Hey family,
Well, since you DIDNT WRITE ME AN EMAIL, I´m not sure what to respond to! Yeah, I know you sent me letters, but I forgot to bring them, so I forgot if you had any questions. I did answer some in that emergency email, though, so there´s that. I wish that I could write every other day and give mini updates. I´ve received a bunch of packages, a bunch of letters, and a bunch of love. There are so many missionaries here. When we leave tomorrow, there will be 200 missionaries going to California, the biggest group of any state/coutnry. It's going to be crazy.
 I accidently left my temple reccomend at my dorm, so when I got up to the temple, I had to go back with another elder from my district, who forgot his at home. I got some stuff done. There is a lot of packing to be done.
 The mission field will definitely be more exciting than the MTC. I haven't memorized any new scriptures for a while. I have began to put sticky tabs in my scriptures and stuff, with the colors of the tabs matching the colors of the lessons in Preach My Gospel.
I've been keeping my magic skills up here. I've primarily stuck with doing things with pens, rings, and occasionally coins. Going through the magic I brought, I realized how much I had left home. I know I should not be concentrating on stuff like magic, but it's good therapy to break it out every once in a while. I can't think of anything specific I left at the moment, but if you ever go through my boxes again, send me something you think would be appropriate.
I love all the letters that you guys send me. Tell JJ Thank you for the wonderful birthday card. Does work for elders out in the field? That would save me some time with the email. Even if it doesn't it would probably be best if you sent me letters instead of emails so I don't waste any time during the time I get to write you guys.
It seems like is doing well without me. I guess I should have left on a mission a lot sooner!  Just kidding. Ben and Noah better become super funny and entertaining, because I'm not sure how that show will last without it's brains, charm, humor, and good looks.  Btw, I have been telling my friends about it. They have written it down on a list of things to check up on in in two years. I should start one.
So, anything big happen in the world? Anything significant? And when does that commett fly over? It will probably be too late by the time you tell me. Oh well.
I love you all so much! Enjoy the pictures! Put them on the blog!
Oh, and read D&C 93. Why do we have scripture that deep and mind boggeling if all it does is confuse me and not help me (potentially) in the mission field?! I won't be telling investigators about intelligneces and stuff like that! Ugh...
Regardless, I love you all. I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures when I land in the In-Land Empire. Seriously, everyone that I have talked to that has lived in, near, or had someone that served a mission in Riverside keeps telling us it's the best mission, and that we will love it.
Write me a bunch! If you don't have it already, my address to my mission home is--
Elder Joseph Summerhays
California Riverside Mission
5900 Grand Ave.
Riverside, CA

WEEK 2 !!!!!

Date: Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Dear family,
I am writing this email not sure what I am going to write. So as I said before in my other email, thoughts may not be connected. It may improve when I am in the field, but not in the MTC.
This week has been fun. I forget what happnend, but I know it was a good week. The days blend together here. I didn't realize it was going to be my birthday till the day before. My brithday feels like a week ago. Thanks for sending me that care package. Had most of what I needed. Wish I had a piano room I could go to, but it's kind of hard with a companion. Thanks for the food! Just had the cookies, and almost finished both Nutter Butter things. I finished the first one on my birthday. I am trying to lose weight here (and I have! 7-10 pounds!) BUT EVERYONE IS SENDING ME JUNK FOOD!!!! Send me like a protien shake or something. Wayne and Pam sent me a bunch of yummy snacks. I am almost done with the krispy kreeme donuts. Grandma sent me a bunch of food (even bean dip and caramel!), and even a CD player with some speakers! (Don't worry mom, I sent a thank you note to everyone one.) I Just got a letter from Liz (thank you note in process), which was loverly. Did you hear about Grey?! FREAKING JAPAN!!!! (am I aloud to say freaking?) IT'S FREAKING JAPAN!!!!! Ni hong guo ma Nashi Maska (Do you speak Japanese?) is all I know. Add everyone in the family, both sides, to the mailing list. Have you created a blog yet? Granted there wouldn't be much to put on it, but I think it would be a good idea. Email list in the time being, though. Or at the same time. Do whatever. Just let people know how I am doing.
I can't even think of miscelaneous news. It's just been the MTC here. Study, go to class, eat, study, go to class, eat, teach, then go to devotional on occasion. Getting suit dry cleans Wednesday. The buttons aren't falling off, but the strands keep poking out, no matter how much I cut them. Getting haircut (free!) on Saturday. I also bought a hymn book, which will probably be more handy in the MTC than in the field, but they only cost $10, and it is free engraving. So I bought it.
I am sorry I can't really say much. I am just learning and learning. Personal Study time is on and off. Sometimes I actually study. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I memorize. I am getting better though. SO thankful for the 3 weeks here. Any recommemded study topics?
Also, Dad, how much of D&C 121 did you memorize? I'm up to verse 9. I feel like you started in the middle. I might as well just memorize the whole thing, but that would be procrastinating actually studying. 40-something verses.
What else should I memorize?
Keep sending me letters. I love it. Tell people on Facebook to send me letters. I love it.
Elder Summerhays


 February 11, 2013

Dear Family,
It has been pretty tough here at the MTC. The toughest part I would say so far is "Personal Study", which I need to learn to like, because I get about three hours of it a day. On Sunday, we had three straight hours of study time. It was tough, and I fell asleep reading a few times, but it's getting better. The food here is delicious, but after working out for the first time in a while, I've decided to stay away from deserts, except on weekends, which I may eventually narrow down to just Sunday. During Companion Study time, me and Elder Kirkland spend most of our time planning for our mock investigators. It's pretty nerve racking, but I'm glad we have now to screw up so we know how to fix it. An example of one is that we were trying to explain the importance of baptism. She didn't understand why she needed to get baptized again. We explain a bunch of stuff, but it all came down to us forgetting to establish the church's authority. The restoration is an important, but hard to teach lesson. It doesn't make any sense unless they stay till the end. I'm still working on it. We have our first TRC, which stands for Teaching Resource Center. It's kind of like the same thing with the mock investigators, but these people could actually be real investigators. Plus, we don't have any background info, and it's for 30 min. instead of 15.
In case you couldn't tell, I'm just typing whatever comes to mind, so nothing flows. Sorry if I talk about the gospel, then directly to food.
I realized that these buildings have probably been here since Dad was on a mission. Some have been renovated, but they look and feel old. Dad, do you remember which building you stayed in? I'm in 12 M. So there ya go. Today is our first P Day, and it was been quite busy. We woke up at 6:15 to get a sack breakfast, as we had be at the temple at 7:10. We were second in line. The Provo temple is pretty different that the Manhattan one, but it is pretty. I think I like the Manhattan one better, though. Laundry takes forever. Won't bore you with details. Just a bunch of Elders and Sisters waiting for stuff to get wet then stuff to get dry.
Bruce Summerhays seems to be the most popular Summerhays among the people who recognize my name. I've met one who had him as a Mission Pres., and one who has a brother that has him as a Mission Pres. Then everyone else relates to golf. I get a bunch of random Summerhays' that I don't know, but I tell them that I'm sure that we are related. I don't have the names infrot of me now. My Branch Pres. (who looks like a cross between Pres. Seely and Tony Bennet. Try to imagine it. I'll get a picture some time) says that he knows a Don and someone else Summerhays somewhere in N. California. Know them?
As a last note, try your best to find Elder Bednar's MTC Devotional talk. If they don't post them, I'll send you some of my notes. THE best talk I have ever heard. He didn't come here, we just saw a recording, but it was THAT good that they continue to show it. Seriously, after you are done reading, replying, and putting together my care package, look for it. Super good.
I love you guys, and I'll make sure to send you the occasional hand written letter. Post my MTC address on Facebook, and say that I'll be here till FEB. 19th. Oh, and Birhtday cards are must appritiated. And/or gifts. Those are good too. I'll post pictures next week when I have more time.
Things I have memorized:
-D&C: 4
-The Standard of Truth
-JSH 1: 16-17
-"Your Purpose" for missionaries
Anything else I can memorize? It's my break from actually reading. Think of it as me playing the piano to get away from homework. It's productive, but I should really be doing something else.
Love you guys!
Elder Summerhays

First district

Elder Summerhays and Elder Kirkland
Provo Temple
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