Mini Miracle

April 29, 2013

Dear people that spend time to read my letters,

P-day was good this week.  Then, in the evening we had a dinner appointment with which we had a mini-miracle experience.  Brother Pratt was our dinner host. Since he lived far away, he came to pick us up (which was very kind).  On his way,  the Elders Quorum President called and asked if he could give someone a blessing at a hospital.  He said that he could do it, but he would have to drop the elders off at his house. Then he realized, "Wait! I am picking up the Elders!  I'll just bring them with me!"  So we go to the hospital, and learn that it is a less active elderly woman, whom Bro Pratt did not know, but that we had spoke with a couple weeks prior. She recognized us, and was very glad to see us. We left her with a great blessing, and she seems to be getting better,  from what we have heard.  If the Lord needs something done, he makes sure it gets done. 

Tuesday was my first Multi-Zone meeting, which was awesome! We learned so many things! I took notes, and am (as always) becoming a better missionary. It was 6 hours long, but it was awesome.

Wednesday I went to the Ankle Specialist. My mission Nurse set up an appointment, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to go see him ( I was off crutches at that point). After some talking and another Xray (the urgent care one wasn't good enough), he determined THAT I have a partially torn tendon on the inside of my right ankle, and that I need to be on crutches and in a boot till further notice. I am getting an MRI today, and then an eventual check up with the doctor. So the rest of the week I have been on exchanges with my district leader or his companion, since they have a car.  I met a lot of people in the area (Banning) and showed a lot of magic tricks. 

Church was very good. We had only ONE investigator show up (a 10 y.o. who we are still waiting for the OK to baptize her).  A high counselor spoke and told the ward council that in the next coming months our stake will have two sets of missionaries per ward, most likely two elders and two sisters, as in the next couple of months there will be more sisters than elders in our mission. Also, they are working on finding home shares, and that we as missionaries will do less work to get team ups and dinner appointments. :D So that might result in a few less dinner appointments, but less work to get them.  It's all good.

That has pretty much been my week. Crutches have been a big pain. I walked 1.5 mile round trip to an appointment that canceled!  Still, it's been a learning experience.  For instance, I learned that it is possible to develop calluses below your arm pits.

Looking forward to the MRI today. I get to lay in a tube for 45 minutes! That will be good, because today I am doing the "Junkyard" again.  This time,  I am doing the whole challenge:   A 2.5 LBS SANDWICH WITH A 32 OZ. SHAKE AND ALMOST AND A QUARTER POUND OF FRIES!!!   After that, I will be watching what I eat. At least the portion size.  Something. I got two years. No worries.

Love you all,

Elder Summerhays

A Week on Crutches

April 22, 2013

Hello People,

It's been a hard life on crutches this week. The first P-day with crutches was a downer. The Magic Shop was closed, learned that new crutches cost $70 (my loaner crutches were three inches short) , and money was tight. Frugal to the max for one more week!
I went on splits with another missionary.  I went tracting, and walked about seven blocks in crutches, half of it up hill. 'Twas crazy!
Thank you for the AWESOME package of letters and pictures! I loved it. The picture of our lizard Sydney with a tie on cracked me up. I'm going to put some of those pictures on my scripture case.
It was really sad to hear about the Boston Bombing. I hope we didn't know anyone in the race! I did hear that they caught the guys, so that's good.
We got five new investigators this week! A couple who just got started into church, a family of former investigators that wanted to start up, a crazy but nice lady (who it is nearly impossible to have a phone conversation shorter than 20 minutes because of how much she talks, and how off topic she gets. Nice lady though), and a Vietnam Vet who is an awesome guy and really wants to get into the church. Looking forward to this week.

The highlight of this week I think was a couple days ago.  We saw some kids outside of a house, so we went and started talking. It was all good. I then showed them a magic trick and blew their minds.  The mom and kids invited me back for a birthday party the next day to show them some tricks. The plan was do be there for about 20 minutes. I would show them some tricks, talk about Jesus, and potentially set up a return appointment. So we go back the next day.  The mom offered us some pizza, which was delicious. We started talking while the little kids were eating.  In a nut shell, she makes the stuff that interior designers use.  That's all I can remember. She would get along nicely with Mary Glad. So we talked for about 20 minutes, then I did about 10 or 15 minutes of magic and they really got into it, had more pizza, and then I STARTED MAKING BALLOON ANIMALS!  I went all magician mode for TWO HOUR!.  It was awesome!  The whole time talking to the parents there, making balloon dogs, giraffes and hats.  She loved our help and conversation, and will potentially be seeing her on Wednesday.  We befriended them as much as possible, and will leave a spiritual thought at their house when we can catch them. It was a lot of fun. 

Sunday was crazy.  One of our investigators ( She is the crazy but nice lady) came to church. It was a big ordeal getting her to church since she wasn't ready when her ride came to pic her up. Apparently she started asking people for food, money, and rides to random places.  It was our fault for not entirely explaining the purpose of coming to church.  We were going to tell her after sacrament meeting, but she disappeared!  No one knew where she was!  People didn't complain, but many had the same reaction that all the missionary have when they first meet this woman, that she has a few screws loose. She is really nice though, and really wants (and needs) the gospel in her life. She will be a project,  but it'll be quite an experience.

Dinner that night was pretty fun. It was at a part member family's home (the husband says that he is tolerant to religion. Really cool guy though, and has been around missionaries for about 12 years). We were helping prepare dinner, when my comp said that he got a glass of water, and filled up my cup while he was at it. I thanked him, and took a sip. All of the sudden, my lips started to sting. The water was spicy. I asked him if he did anything to my cup. He said no, and that he just got the water from the fridge. So I kept drinking, and my lips and throat got hotter. They were turning red!  I got a different cup and drank some milk, but that didn't help at all! I went to the bathroom and bathed my lips in cold water.  I was freaking out, thinking I had some strange allergic reaction to something I touched.  I came out of the bathroom and first thing the husband said was "I grow my own peppers."  It's a tradition for him, whenever he has a new missionary over, to rub an Argentinian Lemon pepper on the rim of the glass.  He got me good.  He gave us some peppers to get the other missionaries.  Look up the pepper.  I'm not sure what the scale is and how it's measured, but it is rated at 600,000. A jalapeno is only 6000. So that was a lot of fun.  Of course, I got him back by blowing his mind with magic tricks.  They even requested I did a magic trick they had seen, which I had never done before, figured it out in my head, and did it for them. Had a lot of fun.

I have a doctor's appointment this Wednesday to check up on my ankle. Looking forward to that. I am finally off the crutches (and we had to give the car back to the mission home), but I am still being really careful.  I'm praying hard.
Love you all,

Elder Summerhays
PS. Read Isaiah 29 (in 2 Nephi) where is prophecies of the Book of Mormon. Pretty crazy.  

I'm Alive and Kickin'...But Only with One Leg

April 15, 2013

This week as been very interesting.

After much contemplation and persuasion, I decided to go to the Zone activity, which was at a trampoline place. Trampolines on the walls, there's a foam pit, you can play dodge ball, and a dunking place. Lots o fun. 

Dodge ball pit
After about an hour into it, and after playing dodge ball, running on trampolines, dunking basket balls, and doing front flips into a foam pit, I decided to not do anything fancy and just jump really high into the foam pit. I had done this plenty of times before at a similar place at BYU, where I did crazier stuff than at here. I get about eight or 10 feet in the air, and go for the last final jump into the pit. As I land and push off the tramp, I hear and feel a loud POP. I thought someone had smacked my leg before jumping. I landed in the pit, and asked if anyone did hit me. No one did. They pulled me out, we put some ice on it, and I watched everyone play intense rounds of dodge ball the rest of the time. We figured I had popped a ligament or something, and that I had not broken anything. That was a big relief to me, because that was the main thing going through my head. "Don't send me home, don't send me home." Not much else happened that day. I limped everywhere. I used a cane for the last part of the day (we had one in our apartment. We have everything.). Dream come true: I was like House! :D (I took a picture of me with a cane and in my suit. Forgot camera. Picture next week. Pretty cool, though. :D)
Dr. House

I learned that I could actually bike the next day, so the work did not stop! Not too much happened, but it was good to know that I could still ride a bike. I just had to be careful. The next day, I finally bought a bike! The guy there gave me an amazing deal, and am very grateful. Nice bike, too. Looking forward to riding more. Since we were buying a bike, I couldn't ride my bike to the shop, so we walked (I limped) all the way to the bike shop. Which was about a mile. We met a guy, a formally broke man who won $500K from a medical lawsuit. He just gives the stuff away, as he feels he doesn't deserve it. He even donated to the church, though I don't know how much, but probably a good chunk. He had the really great potential to be a good solid investigator. I showed him a bunch of tricks and he flipped out. I told him if we came back, I would teach him one, and he agreed. I later learn that we wasn't in our area, and that he is in the other companionship's area. So we did a trade off lesson. He will be an awesome investigator. We will stop in from time to time, though, to show him more magic and just to talk. Great guy.
That same day, we met a guy that basically told us to get out of our "lucifarian religion" while we still could. He brought up Revelations. We shot it down. We bore solid testimonies and just confused the guy with how we would sacrifice our whole life for something evil. We told him that we had prayed about it for ourselves and learned that it was true. He would not pray about it because he "didn't want to insult God". We told him that he was actually insult God by not praying about it, as the scriptures teach to do for everything. Oh well. He had his chance. Hopefully, one day, he will have a change of heart. We thanked him for his concern for our well being, and left.
On Friday, we realized that my leg was starting to swell and turn red, which was a good sign to go to Urgent Care. We eventually got around to it. Got an X-ray, and learned that I had sprained my PTLR(?) on my ankle. Verdict: Crutches for five days, and an ankle brace for two months. President Smart himself dropped off a car for us on Sunday to use for the week so we could get around, so there's that plus. The crutches that I am borrowing are to short, so I will just have to give in and buy some good ones. Sunday was good. At one point, we were invited to talk to primary children about the gift of healing. Me in crutches and my comp with an Ace bandage on his wrist for a reoccurring soccer injury made it kind of funny.
So there's the update. I guess it's crutches for the next week. My arm pits are killing me since the crutches are small, but I'm making stuff work.
Love you all,
Elder Summerhays

April Foolin' and more

April 7, 2013

Hello People-Who-Can-Access-The-Internet-Whenever-They-Want,

How lucky (or unlucky) can we as missionaries get to have April Fool's day land on a P-Day? The best prank that we pulled was at our dinner appointment. He (Brother S ) picked us up from our apartment, and I suggested that we can't just pass up the opportunity to prank his family.  So he came up with a good idea.  His daughter was the last one to drive the car, and it was near empty.  So he parked a couple blocks away from his house, and we ran the rest of the way. Knocked on his house, and told his family that the car had ran out of gas, and that we need to push it the rest of the way. I winked at the mom to let her know, and even told the younger daughter, who is about 14, that it was a prank, as she suspected it.  So the mom, two daughters, and 11 year old son walk all the way down with us.  Me and Elder Hayden opened the doors on either side of the car, as did Bro and Sis S, to "push" it.  The kids started pushing on the trunk.  Then we all hopped in the car, and drove off, leaving the kids to walk back home.  'Twas funny. Aside from that, the pranks were a little low key.  We tried putting hot sauce on the toilet paper, and putting BioFreeze muscle relaxer on the toilet, but it didn't work.  One elder got a good handful of people to believe that he was going home because he busted his ankle, and all through the phone too.  We helped make it sound real.  It was fun.

The next day we helped a stake in Temecula (not even in our mission) who had traveled up to Yucaipa to have their Pioneer Trek.  There were about 280 people participating.  We helped unload and organize bags, buckets, and Dutch ovens for five hours. I was not expecting that, and for some reason I did not put on any sunscreen.  I got the gnarliest sun burn line. I am developing a nice tan, though, from being in the sun everyday in moderation.  So that's a plus, but it hurt for a while.  I'm all good now, and have learned my lesson.  That day we did not get a chance to do any studies, which I felt the effects of after. When we were contacting and teaching people, I just didn't feel right.  After I realized that I hadn't studied, I decided to study while eating dinner (someone kindly brought us dinner that night).  The rest of the night went great.  It really does help to read the scriptures everyday. Make sure you do it!!!

I managed to finally do 51 pushups!!! WOOHOO!!   I did learn today that I wasn't doing them with the best form should have been doing, and was not able to do as many.  But I did 51 ARMS AT A 90 DEGREE ANGLE PUSHUPS WITHOUT STOPPING.  I'MMA BEAST!  Goal is at least 100 by the end of the year.   I'll get there.

I have realized, after meeting so many people, that I have grown up really blessed.  I appreciate how my ward back home is so close and like family.  I hope the members here will also fellowship the investigators and show them how great it is have this church in their life.   I have also grown-up strong in the gospel.   I have met many people that are not going to church just because of a misunderstanding or because of something that happened like 15 years ago. It is almost frustrating, but all in their own time.  I am glad to have grown up in a household and environment that I did, and have been greatly blessed by it. 

General Conference was great as always. When Elder Uchtdorf said "Our first speaker will be from Elder Jefferey R. Holland" everyone let out a little cheer.   I enjoyed it and I really hope that members were watching and paying attention, because his message Sunday afternoon was fairly missionary-work centered, which was great. 

I am doing great out here. We have a new Zone goal to find at least two new investigators a week per missionary companionship.  It will be hard this week, just because.

OH. New joke that I heard. A little boy goes to the doctor's. A man in the waiting room asks him "Why are you here?" The boy answers "I have come to get circumcised." The man replies "Oh, you don't want to do that. I got circumcised when I was born, and I could not walk for a whole year!"

I learn a lot on the mission.  Scripture of the week.  

Doctrine & Covenants  88: 123-126
123 See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous;learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires.
124 Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; 
cease to find fault one with another; 
cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, 
that ye may not be weary; arise early,
that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated. 
125 And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity,
 as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace. 
126 Pray always, that ye may not faint, until I come.
Behold, and lo, I will come quickly, and receive you unto myself. Amen.

Love you all,
Elder Summerhays

Didn't take many pictures this week, but thought I would share this with you even thought it is not the best.  We are at an Easter celebration at a members home eating some great guacamole. 

Another Week Servin' the Lord

April 1, 2013

Hello family!
Just to get it out of the way, I had my first crash on a bike on Tuesday! We were on our way home, so it was dark. Since we were riding it primarily lit streets, I didn't realize that I had forgotten to turn my headlight on. Once we got out of the main roads, there were no street lights, which is when I realized that my light wasn't on. So for a split second, I looked down to turn on my light, which is exactly when I hit a garbage can. I didn't fly over it, since it was one of those Green cans that you put weeds and stuff in it, but I did go a little over the handlebars onto the can, which I knocked over. Wasn't too full, so it was easy to clean up. No major injuries, though I ripped my pants and tore the skin on my knee, which of course hurt a lot. We walked the rest of the way home, since it wasn't too far away. It hurts too much to ride a bike, though. We called the Mission Nurse, and she said to hold off on any walking or riding. Then the aliens came and took us to their planet, which we converted. April Fools. Hope I got you a little. Okay, now I will write a good letter. The rest of this is all true. Hope April fools is good at home. What did Google do this year?
We learned that our district had 100% of the baptisms out of the entire zone, and about 80% of member present lessons. So that was a good moral boost!
The next day most of our appointments fall through (surprise, surprise), yet we managed to have a pretty full day. We talked to Josh and his family, and got them all to commit to get down to four cigarettes a day (down from 7, which was down from 10). Incentive? Eventual baptism, not getting cancer, and I will teach them a magic trick of their choice. It's worked so far, let's hope it works this time!
 Then we taught a couple that we have been trying to get in touch with for the longest time. We were there for two hours, primarily because Phillip, the husband, really knows how to get off topic. It was a great discussion, though, and we are going back soon. We asked him if there was anything he wanted us to study and share with him the next time. The first things that came to his mind were Easter and Luke. So we will have some fun stuff to share then. Did you know that Easter is as related to Christ, as far as the time we celebrate it, as Christmas is to his actual birth? It was just another pagan holiday that turned into a Christian one. Bible Dictionary. Boom. 
I went on my first exchange this week. Nothing super awesome happened, or at least that I am allowed to share. However, we did visit a part member family, where the mom the only member and her daughters are taking the lessons. Long story short: I showed them magic tricks, they loved me, wanted me to stay for dinner and play Cranium because I some how did a good enough impression of Matthew McConaughey, but then my comp called his comp and told him that the family doesn't love him anymore, which made the family fight back and say that they still did. He ended up going to dinner with the primary reason being that a couple people that they wanted me to show them tricks to were not there, so when they are there, we will go on exchanges again and go to dinner there. So that was fun. Awesome family. 
Saturday was a very long day. At 8:00, we went and played Disc Golf (the investigator that we were supposed to go with told us he couldn't come an hour after we started. Ugh.) I did horribly most of the time, and didn't get passed most of the "ladies tees" or "Dink-Out" zones. Thankfully, we weren't playing those rules. The very last basket, though, I threw a near perfect shot, and birdied it. Everyone thought I was hustling them that day. I left it at that. :) Then we helped a family in our neighboring ward move in their daughter. It was a lot of fun. I forgot to mention a while ago, but the family that we helped does some international humanitarian stuff, so they spent a couple weeks in Morocco. It was the first time I was able to talk about the Madina, or Fez, or Orange Juice stands at Merikesh, or feeding monkeys to anyone that I did not see there. They even went to the same branch (or what was left of it) that I did. (They met the Myers! Small world)
So far today, it has been a pretty quite April Fools day. We helped convinced our district leader's "Missionary Mom" that he broke his ankle and was leaving early. It was awesome. She completely forgot it was April Fool's day. 
That's it from California for this week. Am super excited for General Conference!!! Hope to learn a lot that will help me become a better missionary. Are these letters too long? Anything specific you want to hear about?

Love you all,

Elder Summerhays

P.S. As always, send me addresses. Post something on Facebook. Smoke Signals. Whatever. Love you all, again. 
Thought you would like to see my planner on my busy days.

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