Hello People of Earth,

I am at my 6 MONTH MARK! Where did the time go? This mission is just going to be one big dream at the end.

As a zone, we went to a recording studio and recorded some songs. According the zone leaders, who finally got a copy of the CD, it's really bad. Oh well. I will be the judge of that. :)

Amelia and I
Also, an inactive member gave me a nice Rubik's Cube (which I can still do under a minute on average! :) Don't worry, I'm focused on the work) His mom is super active, despite having Lou Gehrig's Disease. She is a super nice lady. I have a picture here with her. Her son and his wife are really cool.  I have been given the feeling I am here in the desert, in part, for them. He is a great guy, and I know deep inside he knows that the Church is true. He just needs a little nudge. Pray for him.

Aside from that, nothing too eventful to account for. The days are blending together. Lots of less-active work, with a lesson with investigators here and there. They are great, we just don't meet as often as I would like. Either way, we are working at their pace. We are in no rush. Yes, I would like a baptism, as I have not had one yet on my mission, but the experience is amazing. I consider myself the ultimate seed planter.

I love the mission. It has it's ups and downs, but so does life. So I can't complain. Transfer calls are coming up this Saturday. While I highly doubt I will be moved, my companion, Elder Heilman, has been here for as long as I have been out on my mission! So there is a good chance I will be taking over the area. I am not sure if I am ready for that, but we will see...

Thanks for all the love and letters! Keep 'em coming!

I love you all,

Elder Summerhays






Beautiful Desert Sky 

Yucca Valley Zone
with President and Sister Van Cott

Fun, Fun, Fun in the Rain!



July 22, 2013


Hello my wonderful people,

IT RAINED TWO DAYS IN A ROW IN THE DESERT!!! There are still clouds everywhere! I love it! Reminds me of home!
Yucca Valley missionary apartment on a rare rainy day


One day, despite having a long weekly planning session, we were able to have 5 whole lessons, two of which where with member presents with investigators, and we only drove a total of four miles!!! It's awesome when other people drive us. :)
Had a chance to help clean the church building then unload the Bishop's Storehouse truck, which was a lot of work. It was fun, though. It comes every couple weeks, so we are probably going to make it a regular thing.

One of my favorite dinners so far was the other day. It was fajitas and corn on the cob, but it was what we did to the corn that made it awesome! They had us smother it in mayo, then parmesan cheese, then Tapatio hot sauce! It was delicious! Then I made the connection of seeing it in the movie, Nacho Libre! It was delicious. I recommend trying it!

One of the interesting "events" of the week, in short:
We started teaching a young man and his mom. The young man, who's name is Mark, said he wanted the missionaries to come back, as they were coming a while before. We did a get to know you session. He said he was 24, in the Marines, had 3 kids with one on the way, planning on proposing to his girlfriend in the upcoming weeks, and loved reading. We gave him a BoM, and remained in contact with him through texting every once in a while. He said he loved the book, his girl friend started reading it, and he started reading it to his kids. We were finally able to meet with his mom and friend (who lives with him) again, and realized that EVERYTHING WAS A LIE. We probably should have taken more heed to his previous Teaching Record, in which the other missionaries stated "DROPPED, lied about everything." He is actually 18, failing school, no kids, no marines, and is basically a pathological liar. So that was fun. We are still teaching his mom, and started teaching his friend, though. When Mark sees the changes in them, he will realize what a wonderful gospel this is, and change. Especially through a wonderful priesthood blessing. It will be interesting to see him again.

I am loving the work here. I can't believe I am starting my 6th week here! Time flies when you are having fun.

Hope all is well, and love you all,

Elder Summerhays


Taking notes from the Master

Just as confused as this apostle:  how can a camel fit through the eye of a needle?

The mission changes you

A Good Week


 

 July 15, 2013

 

 
Hello lovely people,

While it was a good week this week, there is not much to talk about. With tracting vanishing, we have been teaching all the time. It's great! Had some really good lessons with investigators. The one investigator that we were for sure was going to come to church did not, due to his health, which has always been the case. Progressing at his time. He will eventually get baptized. Eventually.
Got to have a great interview with our mission president, President Van Cott. My interview was 45 minutes, because I had questions for him, and he said I could keep talking. So I did.  It was awesome. Then, I left my sunglasses in the room, so when he came out of his next interview, he made them "reappear" for me. It was pretty funny. He's going to be an awesome mission president.

Our recycle pile
A fun highlight: Got the car washed, though it didn't do a very good job on the bird poop. We did open the windows when the blowers came on. Took video. It was awesome. 
Pretty hot in the desert
Unknown yellow fruit/vegetable
There is a lady that we visit all the time that has Lou Gherigs disease, but is the funnest lady ever! We started teaching one of her caretakers, who we know could feel the spirit. Pray that we can continue teaching her.
For all that read this, please send me any stories that you have that you think can help me. Conversion stories for ideas on how to teach, miracle experiences to share with others, funny stories to lighten up the day, anything! Email them, snail mail them, smoke signal. It would help a lot!


I know a miracle of some sort will happen this week. I will share it next week. Pray for me that I can recognize it when it happens!



Love you all, 
Elder Summerhays

  
What would Palm Springs be with out a giant Marilyn Monroe

"Ch-Ch-Chaaaangin'"


July 8, 2013


Hello People of Earth!

A lot of wonderful changes are happening, or are going to happen, in the mission field.  This past Wednesday we met with our new mission president, President Van Cott.  He's a wonderful person and his family is awesome!  After our meeting, we took a picture with our whole zone.  I then I proceeded to do a short magic show for the Van Cott's and most of the zone.  It had been a while since I have really performed.  I entered magician mode and surprised everyone (especially the Van Cott kids!)  It was fun.  I love them.

So here are the some of the major changes to expect:
  • No more back packs! This is church wide. We are straying from the college student look, and association with terrorists carrying bombs due to events such as the Boston marathon. We will soon be carrying “satchels”. Oh yeah! Not sure how that will work on a bike, but I won't worry about it until I am actually back on one. 
  • Eventual Internet integration. Pres. Van Cott said something along the lines of that when he was at the leadership training for new Mission presidents, he gave the speaker (I would assume one of the apostles) his name-plate-tag thing, which is like 4x8, and said "I want to be the first". And since California is such a happenin' place, I'm sure we will. This would include using Facebook and mormon.org as a form of proselyting. I could share the gospel with my new and existing friends, and even have others chime in on discussions! All US missions should have it by the end of the year. I’m excited for that. 
  • No more tracting! No more door-to-door! We are to spend our time teaching, whether it be with investigators, less-actives, in-actives, or full active members! Always be teaching and honing our skills. We will also be able to work through the referrals we are given through teaching such people. We taught about 24 lessons this past week. I love it. 
  • We can now grow out our hair past our collar, and sideburns past our ear! They want us to look like surfer dudes. Just kidding. Still clean cut, which I love as well. Everything above, though, is true. Just kidding about the hair.
  • We can also wear khakis now, as long as they have a crease. I am not really in the market for new pants, so it doesn't affect me.


Our Fourth of July was a lot of fun. We went to the ward breakfast, then we ate all of our meals at less-active members homes. Loved it. The fireworks were wonderful. It all made me homesick for a split second, then I stopped being homesick and started being awesome, so I'm good. 

I have finally purchased a ukulele book! I love it. It has so many awesome songs. I just need a good hymn book with the chords listed, though my companion does have a children's hymn book. Till then, it's "You've Got a Friend In Me" and "Armies of Helaman". I love it. I’m getting pretty good at it too. I'll bring it to a lesson one of these days.

We finally taught a lesson to our investigators Roy and Mel. They are slowly but surely progressing. They are an interesting bunch, and I love teaching them. It's once a week, right now, but it's always great. Please pray for them.

Oh, I should tell you, I was sick for about a half day, but I toughed it out, and I'm back on track. So that happened. 

Church was great, as always. Always go to church. Even if you don't like the people, or have "bad experiences", just remember that church is a hospital for sinners, and it is between you and the doctor to get better. Don't care about the other patients; you can cheer them on, and visa-versa, but if they are annoying, don't bother. Just talk to your doctor. That's the analogy I give about church. It's awesome. I am realized that no one really as a good excuse NOT to go to church, unless it's legitimately medical. Haven't heard one yet.

I love the mission. I love (kind of) the desert - it grows on you.  

Love you all,

Elder Summerhays


It's Still Hot


July 1, 2013


Dear family which I love, and friends which I also love - but not in the same way,

  am now OFFICIALLY in the Redlands Mission!  We had a goodbye testimony meeting with President Smart and his wife (who I told about  animationchefs.com!)  It was a great meeting.  At the end we took a picture together, and then we all highlighted our favorite scripture in a Quad President Smart had brought.  I snuck in two of my favorites:
2 Nep. 26: 23-24      For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.
 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
 and
1 Nephi 2:15      And my father dwelt in a tent.

 President Smart was an awesome leader. I will miss him.  I am looking forward to meeting our new pres, President Van Cott. 

We have been doing a lot of work with the less active members and it certainly keeps us busy. It's fun, too. If I don't baptize some one in this area, I will definitely help someone become active in the church again!  We also picked up a couple solid investigators this week, so I am excited for that. 

105 degrees? Guess it's time to tract
95 degrees?  Guess it's time to sleep
It is super hot here.  I took some picture of the temperature readings. 


 Crazy.  Don't worry, Mom, I apply sunscreen all the time.  Though the watch-tan manages to come in a little. 


I hope everyone is doing well.  Sorry for the short letter.  I have been so busy. 

Love you all,

Elder Summerhays

P.S.  Thank you wonderful family for my "Desert Survival Kit", I loved it!  I have most of it on for this picture.  The safari hat, sunglasses (polarized!), the mosquito net (orange?!), the tropical shirt, along with the snake bite kit - hope I don't need that! misting fan and water bottle and the letters and pictures and sunscreen and everything .  The Oreos have already helped us survive today.  The paper wallet JJ sent with the paper money was especially welcome.  Check out our back yard lawn - not.

 
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