Cool Weather, Cool Week

September 30, 2013

Wating for a ride
Dear Carbon-Based Life Forms,

This week has been a long one, but some wonderful little things have happened here and there. This week has been a lot of biking around, looking for people to visit. We have a good teaching pool, but the majority of them our lessons are few and far between. They are interested enough, though, that we can't justify dropping them. Slowly moving, but nonetheless moving forward. For example, Adrian's band has taken off a bunch. Shows almost everyday, and potentially signing with some record company ( I think, I forget exactly what he said. He is pretty busy), but he reads here and there, and wants to meet more. So we are wait for that wonderful day that we can have a legitimate lesson with him. 

   A family, where the mom is active, dad and son are not, brought a friend (the son's girlfriend), named Cyleen, to church. She surprised everyone else by telling them Sunday morning that she wanted to go to church. So even the LA son went! She loved it, and even cried during one of the talks. We met with her the following day, had an amazing first lesson, and she accepted the invitation to be baptized. We set a date the next day (though it will have to change due to Stake Conf, etc.), but she accepted it as well! She said the closing prayer, and said she almost cried during it. It was amazing. We also explained to her about Young Single Adults, having great fellowship there among other things, just so she would have the opportunity to choose, but she has decided for the moment she wants to go to the family ward. We are meeting with her again tomorrow evening. :)

   Then we had the opportunity to bring Paul and Precious (the part member family, where the husband is "re-investigating") to a baptism of another set of elders. Lots of people were shaking there hands as they came in, which was nice. The Ward Mission Leader of the other ward came to shake their hands, and one of those "what are you doing here?" moments happened. Turns out the WML used to work with Precious at a job they both got laid off at. So there was a connection and fellowship there. So much so, the following Sunday they said they were going to visit the other ward. Pretty much the whole stake was having their Primary Program, so it would have been the same wherever they went, since they don't stay for the full three hours (yet). Still, I'm so happy they are going to church. 

I meant to take a picture for you to see the giant hole in the back of my suit pants, and it's not the type that I can sew up.  All of the missionaries coming out and who have come out were asked to bring two suits.  Riverside for some reason only asked for one, but now most missions require two. The suit lasted at least 1/3 of my mission though, which isn't too bad.  I have to figure out how to buy a new suit now, any advice?

President Van Cott has challenged the whole mission to get 4 new investigators per each companionship. That is quite the challenge  but with the magic of Conference Weekend, I'm sure that is possible. 

Looking forward to an awesome week this week. Hope everyone has the same!

Elder Summerhays

P.S.  Today marks my eight month mark, which means I am one-third of the way done!!! Time flies too fast. Pretty soon, I will be going home, getting married, having kids, getting jobs, having grandkids, dying and going to heaven. Life is short... but still, WOOHOO, EIGHT MONTHS!!!"

At the Library waiting to email 

Transfer Magic

September 23, 2013

Hello people who wish they knew magic,

Not much happened this week, but of what did happen was pretty big. The baptism for Sabrina and Andrew!  It went well, with no hiccups or problems whatsoever. We are going to start teaching her new member lessons, so we are excited and anticipate the best.

A dinner of ours cancelled, and said they would drop off McDonald's for us, which we were happy for. While we were waiting in the living room, a man, with his hands full of things,  barged through our front door (without knocking), and says "Hi Elders".  Freaking us out! The first thought that went through my mind was "Why didn't our dinner knock?  That's a little strange, but that's okay." Then my eyes focused, we all realized about the same time that it was our mission president, President Van Cott,  dropping off brownies his wife made for us since we housed some greenies for the night. That was funny. He just got back from golfing with the mission doctor and a couple other mission presidents.  He said Pres. Smart asked about me. I guessed correctly when I asked if it was about my ankle. 

On top of the world at
Big Falls
 San Bernidino National Forest

We went to a the San Bernidino National Park today for a P-Day activity.  Our first zone activity in this area. We got some pictures. The only thing different about our district is new sisters, and minus a Spanish Elder companionship. One of the sisters is Sister Mickelson, who was also in my last neighboring area. Yes, Dad, I asked her. No, she is not related to Phil (the golfer). She said she gets that all the time.
"Leaning like a boss"
with Elder Taylor

Biking at night under a big
Californial Moon

That's pretty much it for the week. We are planning to have a busier week. I am not sure what I did to deserve finding two of God's elect, so I am going to credit my family, who fasted for me that week without me knowing. Thanks Family!
I have found Revelation!

Love you all,

Elder Summerhays

Wonderful Things

September 16, 2012

Dear People Who Have Fewer Stains On Their TiesThan Me,

It has been a crazy week. My thoughts are all unorganized (as always), so I will just do some bullet notes for this week's letter. Enjoy.

- We have been teaching Sabrina and her son Andrew for almost two weeks now. Unfortunately, this weekend they will no longer be be our investigators. It is a sad day, and we will miss teaching them the lessons, but it's what happens-- you are not an investigator when you get BAPTIZED!!!! Their baptism is this Saturday! In our second lesson, I asked if she had specifically prayed about the message of the Restoration, and she said "No". So I just asked her if she believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and she said "Yes". It caught me a little off guard, so I asked a few more questions, and they were all "Yes". I asked when she would like to be baptized, and she said "As soon as possible!"  So we set it for the following weekend, and have been teaching her almost everyday along with a ward member. It has been awesome! Elder Weaver will be baptizing Andrew, and I have the privilege to do his confirmation the next day, Sunday.  Sabrina is having some member's who have fellowshipped her do her ordinances. It's been wonderful ride.

- Elder Weaver and I have had great lessons with the part member family we have been working with. Not much to update, but they are progressing nicely.  I can't wait 'till they can stay for church the full three hours. That should help.

- With a referral from a member, we picked up some new investigators, Randy and Rebecca.  The member made some pumpkin bread, wrote Rebecca a note, and gave her a hard bound copy of the Book of Mormon with her name engraved.
The husband was there the first time we visited, and we talked a little bit. He said his wife most likely would not be interested, but he wouldn't mind chatting with us, especially about the history of the church (he is a history buff). We came back the following week and gave a wonderful lesson. Rebecca joined in for the middle of it, but had to leave to put her kids down.  They seemed to accept our message rather well, asking great questions and joking along the way. The following Sunday the member who referred us to them said she got an email from Rebecca, basically saying how much she enjoyed our visit, and how much she is
looking forward to next weeks visit.  It took all of us by surprise, and we are super excited to see them again on Wednesday.

-We finally met with Lucas, the only investigator we had coming into the area.  Due to school, family, and work, he hasn't been able to meet with us, though we, as a whole, have tried to make it work. Finally, he was able to find some time, and we met for about 30 minutes.  He is super interested in the church.  He believes in God, but has a hard time with Jesus Christ.  He says that doesn't mean he won't in the future. He asked if he could interview us for an essay he has  to write.  He has to write on something he is interested about, but doesn't know anything about, or something like that.  Of course, we said we would.  He says he will be writing about our dedication to our work, and our motivation to do it  even when times are tough.  It's very interesting. Looking forward to it.

-We walk around at a Farmer's Market every Thursday night to be seen and approachable, as per suggestion from Pres. Van Cott. Only two bashes have come from it, which isn't too bad. They weren't even good bashes.  Just annoying.  But we have handed out Book of Mormons (or Books of Mormon?) and pass-a-long cards to vendors and people walking around, and it has been great. It's probably a good thing that I only brought $2 with me last time, because there was amazing cake, olive oil, crepes, and roasted corn (corn on the cob, mayo, parmesan cheese, and Tapatio. Tried it in my last area. It's amazingly good!). This week though... I will just bring enough to buy a crepe. :)

-We biked all the way to the corner of our area to check up on a less active who lives in apartment behind a very popular brewery. Fun stuff. He wasn't home. I don't think he even lived there.

For the most part, those have been the highlights of the week. Today is the first day of a new transfer. Elder Saxton (who has been in the area for two transfers) is getting moved, and Elder Taylor (who just came from the San Bernadino Mission as a District Leader) will be training. So we will have a 'greenie' in the house!  Again!  Speaking of which, Sister Van Cott requested that we clean the apartment really well so we can house six or seven greenies for a night. We are getting brownies!!!   :)

This new transfer period is going to be great. New motivation, an increase in knowledge and spirit, and a clean house. I can't wait. 

direct address for at least the next 6 weeks is:
1122 Oxford Dr.  #D
Redlands, California

Hope all is well,

Elder Summerhays

Elders Weaver, Talylor, Saxton and Summerhays
"being themselves" from a thoughtful member feeding them that night

Best Week in a Long Time...

September 9, 2013

In a freak down pour, hiding under a tree. I did not get hit by
lighting, thankfully.

Dear Little Cabbages,

This week as been crazy. It would take too long to give details, but I will do my best to describe the cool things that have happened.
My District Leader, Elder Taylor and I went on an exchange. Another set of missionaries took us to go emailing (since it was Labor Day the day before, we couldn't go to the libraries to email). After emailing, we received a call from a recent convert saying that he needed help that instant to move out of his house. Too hard to explain why he had to move all of the sudden, but we said we would help. Long story short, that was our whole day. Besides having a really good talk with an investigator that night, we did not do any missionary work in our own area. We helped move for much longer than we had anticipated, and since the other elders were going to be late for their dinner, they asked permission and we just tagged along with them to their dinner. So that was a tiring day, but nonetheless interesting.

Tuesday, we went to the Redlands Temple! It was a wonderful experience.  I got to the work for an ancestor of someone I did the baptism for, four years prior in the Manhattan temple! It was really awesome. While there saw some of members from previous wards that I had served in working at the temple!  It was good to see them.
Now for the highlights (summarized, kind of). There is a part-member family that came to church a few weeks ago. We learned that the husband is a returning member who is "re-investigating" the church with his non-member wife and, eventually, kids. We set up a time, and finally met with them. We have taught them two lessons so far, and it has gone wonderfully. I am super excited to be teaching them and look forward to our lessons in the coming weeks. The next day, we taught a woman and her son, who was a referral from a member. We held the lesson at the member's house, and that went wonderful as well. Both sets of investigators had already attended church with their friends/family before we were even teaching them, so that is a bonus! I am so excited about teaching these people. I am praying hard that nothing screwy happens, and that I don't get transferred next week (knock on wood).

I really enjoyed this week.  We got the spiritual boost that we needed. Keep praying for us, and keep sending me letters! I love it.

Hope all is well,

Elder Summerhays

My companion with Nerf-darts in his eyes. This is not photoshopped.

Eating a Twinkie in the first time in maybe eight years.
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