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!
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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


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