ARRIVAL! : SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT

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

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