It's Time to Work Harder

August 26, 2013

Dear partners in crime, and other stuff,

This week has been filled with visiting people. When one is short on investigators, and new in the ward, it's the best thing to do. I wish I could write about all the people I have met, but it would be too long.  Just know that there are some great people in the ward, and some great Less Active people that need the gospel.

We did a nice "Q&A" with a Born-Again couple in their garage. It was a good conversation, the only thing that bothered me is that they were not interested because they "have read and watched enough about it" to know it's not for them. They have not read "It", but apparently they "know". Don't you love TV?

On Wednesday it was Multi-Zone Conference. It was fantastic. So much learned and was so inspired that I can't write it all. It was very motivating. 
One of these days, instead of biking, Elder Weaver and I will be walking.  It will be a good test in planning, and give us more opportunities to talk to people.  Elder Weaver is not too excited about the idea, but that's the benefit of being a trainer!

We have a new investigator names Lance. He is the father of a blended family, so he has nine children. He has been taught by the missionaries before, and loves talking to us, but he made it clear he has no plan "in converting anytime soon". That is okay. If the Spirit tells him sooner or later, he will get baptized sooner or later.

We have another investigator who was really excited about learning about the church, and really felt the spirit. We were going to give her a tour of the church, but her mom did not allow it. Since she is only 17, we can't teach her unless we have a parents permission. The girl  said it's okay, but I'm wondering if her mom said it was okay as well. We will see. If we can teach her, she will be a great investigator, and eventually member.

On Saturday, I prayed for a miracle. The week had been slow, and mostly due to our efforts. I needed a jump start for the upcoming week. On Sunday, we were introduced to a part-member family. The father wants to become active again, and his family, the rest of whom are not members, want the missionaries over. It was wonderful!  We will be meeting with them sometime this week. It was the boost I needed.

All is well with me.  As always, I would love to hear from you!  Even if it's just a short email saying hello!  Hand written letters are great, too!

Lovin' the mish!

Elder Summerhays

Making Connections in Redlands

August 19, 2013

Dear Family and others whom have put up with me,

I only have a few minutes because we are still learning how to work with the library here in Redlands.

Last night, Elder Weaver and I  had dinner with the Tucker family.    Brother Tucker was my Dad's companion for a while in the Colorado/Denver mission back in the day when it covered Wyoming and Kansas too. It was great to swap stories my dad had told me and hear about other missionaries.  Then I gave him my Dad's phone number and assured him that he would be up at the hour we were calling him (which was late in CT).  
While they talked I only heard one side of the conversation but I had the strangest feeling just watching Bro. Tucker talk to my dad about everything!  They caught up with each others life and then started swapping there own stories, some of which they shared, others that were just there own.  I had heard bits of pieces of these stories my whole life.  After they hung up I closed the night by sharing a few magic tricks with them, a prayer, and called it a night. It was a great experience, and made both of our nights.

Our week has consisted of tons and tons of biking. We are trying to meet as many members as possible and fellowship them! Investigators-through-members is the way to go! We have had some good experiences with that, especially yesterday. We were just in the right place at the right time for a family who’s daughter was in a bit of a spiritual crisis.  With the spirit’s guidance, we were able to help.   Her mom thanked us so much and told us that it was a direct answer to her prayers.  Experiences like those keep me going.
My awesome new companion Elder Weaver
that I have the privilege to train
Training has been going well so far.  I wish we had some people to teach, but I am sure this is a test from the Lord. Someone is waiting for us, and the Lord is waiting for us to be at a certain level of spirituality until he gives them to us. There are a lot of great members here. With everyone we have met, we have, simply put, challenged them to give a Book of Mormon to a friend in the next two weeks. There is a guy in our ward that can engrave names on front and testimonies on back of hard cover books, so we are taking advantage of that. It's great.

Now that I have thought about it, that has pretty much been our week.  Pray for us to find people.  As Preach My Gospel says, when you are not teaching, there is no missionary work being done.  So we are going to change that. 
Thanks for all the love!

 Hope all is well,

Elder Summerhays

Goodbye Yucca Valley/ I'm a Trainer!

August 12, 2013

Dear people that wish they were as active on a bike as me right now,

This week as been crazy!  I hope I can write it all and still keep your attention!
Inline image 2

Monday, we cashed in all the bottles we collected over the transfer and got $20 from the 400-ish bottles. We used the money to go to Joshua Tree National Park where we took some great pictures.  (to follow - some day)
Tuesday was full of goodbyes to some great ward members and the best investigators I ever had. I will miss the Yucca Valley area (the people, not the climate)!  
Wednesday was a little hectic. We were really late to the transfer meeting, but it all worked out.  President VanCott gave a great talk and it gave me so much motivation to be an obedient missionary (not that I wasn't before). Eventually, I met my new trainee, Elder Weaver!   I already knew I was going to train him. Not from divine revelation but the simple fact that Pres. Van Cott forgot to black out his name in our transfer callings. Unfortunately, I did not take advantage of it and turn it into a cool magic trick. Oh well.
During the meeting, I had a chance to finally see Sister Thomas!  It was awesome. We took a picture. She said she loved Redlands. She off to Palm Desert and is training right now. I think she is with another sister, training another sister. So they should have an interesting transfer. We will probably end up in the same district at some point during our mission. Just one of those things.

Me and my friend, Sister Thomas! 
Doing a "hands around the waist but NOT REALLY" pose

    As the week carried on we got settled in our new area near Redlands. They were splitting the area (not the ward), so in a sense we are opening up a new area.  I think it was our first full day out and we were biking around to check up on an investigator whom we had not yet met and we were not sure where we were. There were a bunch of teens sitting on a porch so I asked directions. They gave us directions and I showed them a magic trick. The rest is history. 
We started a great religious discussion that was pretty much a big Mormon Q&A.  It went really well. They all agreed to check out After having talked for an hour, we left them with a prayer.  Boom!  Five new investigators! We were not able to meet with all of them the next day, but in short, we were able to meet with the one who was most enthusiastic.  We taught the Restoration, gave him a blessing to help him stop smoking, and then he (without us prompting him) told us how he had felt when we started talking. He said his body went numb, and it felt like someone was standing right behind him, comforting him. It was great.  I am looking forward to seeing him tomorrow.
    Sunday: our first day at the new ward! Everyone that I have met, at least in the missionary portion, is fulfilling their calling amazingly! Our Ward Mission Leader is great, out ward missionaries are great, our Bishop and counselors and great, and everyone I have met so far are great. There is some great potential to be actual "Preach My Gospel" missionaries here. There isn't much to do but work and find out.
     Here is probably the best highlight of the day/maybe even my week. A sister I just met in the ward acted surprised after learning my name. I asked why, and she said her husband had an Elder Summerhays as a companion on his mission. I asked where, and she answered "Colorado"!   I eventually met her husband and it turns out he was companions with my dad 30-something years ago. An "Elder Tucker". The surprise for me was when I asked him how long he was with him. He said "Only about a couple months, then he was made an assistant." "What?" "Yeah, he was quickly made a zone leader, then quickly made an AP. I really liked your dad, and it taught me to really love my next companions." (paraphrased)  I always thought my dad was at least an office assistant, because I heard he picked people up at the airport and such. To hear such great praise from someone about my dad (and to learn that my dad had for some reason forgot to mention to me that he was an AP in his mission!) gave me a new motivation (not that it wasn't there before) to be obedient, and to continue to strive to fully consecrate my life to the Lord.
Today has been a little rough. Took us about 30 minutes of biking to find the library, but we found it. It will be interesting to see how P-Days work here. I am excited though.
I hope all is well with everyone. My ankle is fine. I am losing weight. I am increasing my faith. I am training.

                     And I'm a Mormon.
Love you all,

Elder Summerhays

Transfers and Tranining

August 4, 2013

Hello people, who don't have to bike everywhere...
 Well, the unthinkable happened again. Just when I thought I wasn't getting transferred, I did. I am leaving the wonderful desert to wonderful (I hope) Redlands! I am going to be a trainer!!!  I leave Wednesday. Crazy.

I can't even talk about what has gone on this week! I am still a little dazed from learning that I am leaving. I got to love this ward a whole bunch. I hope the same happens with this next ward. I hear Redlands is a HUGE biking area, so hopefully that will not make me dislike the area.

I will just mention a few highlights that happened this week:

-We had our investigator John come to church! He only stayed for the first hour, but he came! It was awesome.

-A Brother in our ward's brother had his whole house burnt down. He wasn't in our ward, but it was still sad to hear.

-I hit six months

-Elder Berry got sick. He is better now. :)

-I got a bunch of people ALMOST started on Family History.

-We had the most fun ward council ever.  I made people laugh. :)

-I finished a whole 6-week workout program. Where are my results?!?!

-I taught Gospel Doctrine for the first time ever! It went really well. I taught about Zion's Camp. It helped that it was Fast Sunday - got some extra power!

-I participated in/gave three healing blessings in one day.  It was a really good experience.

Well, that's about it. I am still processing all of this. I think this transfer is harder for me than when the mission split. I am only 1/4th of the way done with my mission though. If I am going to be like this every time I transfer, it will be hard. So I am going to SUCK IT UP. And start packing. Gah! I just remembered that as I typed it. I don't want to pack.


I love you all, stay righteous.

Elder Summerhays

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