Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS - Week 13 mission

Happy 2 days 'til Christmas! I am so grateful for all your love this season. I have received all your packages and even a few packages and card from our family friends and they are all under our little tree waiting for Christmas!

I miss Lloyd like CRAZY! But I know for a fact that I am doing WAY better than I should be doing. For like 3 days this week, I DOVE into my calling as a servant of the Lord and LOVED the people around me (just like Lloyd taught me) and POURED into my scriptures (just like Lloyd taught me). I needed some comfort one night and flipped open to a page and my eyes instantly glued on Mosiah 24:14&15, which has become a pretty powerful scripture between her and I. It was another testament that God was taking care of both she and I. I KNOW I AM BEING STRENGTHENED BY THE LORD. She was able to call us when she arrived home, and my prayers since that moment have been in gratitude for the Lord (just like Lloyd taught me). I thank God for the blessing of allowing me to feel what she is feeling. It makes it somehow better that we were both there for each other, even though we were far away. It makes it somehow better that I experienced what it sounds like she is now experiencing, after I came home from Jerusalem. I am so grateful to know her.

I think it's been rough to have her leave because she is so much a part of the mission, for me. When I left my family and friends, I knew it would been awhile until I saw them again...but that I needed to go away for awhile. However, my love for this work came so strongly BECAUSE of Lloyd's love for this work, and because she gave me the tools to learn HOW to love this work. Since she was the one to teach me everything, I think the two became pretty connected. This week I got to learn that I really do love the work! It brings me so much peace and it brings the people of Iowa SO MUCH JOY.

Speaking of which: 2 NEW INVESTIGATORS THIS WEEK! One is Joyann and one is Russ. So now we are teaching 2 young women and 2 truck drivers. Sister Murphy and I stared at each other in disbelief when we heard: how ironic is this? I am trying to love them both as much as I love Dominique and Scott...and Lloyd. :) It is amazing to see how love changes people...including myself.


Dad: tree lights are DEFINITELY missed here. Thank you for that gift to me. (He sent a picture of our "three trees" all lit up.)

The Montgomerys: Shoot! Little Jamesey is married!!!!!! (Cousin) Congrats my Provo cousins!!!! Welcome to the fam, Whitney!!!! Wish I could have been there.
Grandpa: thank you for the Christmas money!  I missed our tradition of going to your house this year.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! Thanks for your love and support. They mean more than any gift.
--

~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~

Iowa City - Week 10, Week 12 mission


I LOVE MY FAMILY! Merry Christmas-season!

This has been a deep week! Sister Lloyd is leaving for her hometown TOMORROW and she and I are both freaking out a little bit....ok a lot a bit.....so excuse me as I rant about how much she changed my life.
Sister Lloyd is a testament that lives can be changed because of LOVE. Because she saw me for who I could be, yet loved me as if I already made it there. Because she was proud of my actions, and didn't judge me for my mistakes. She pointed me to the Savior and told me to never let my mistakes get me to hate on myself. I learned a love for the Book of Mormon, a love for laughter, and a need for loving everyone before I teach them. She changed my entire mission because she told me that the Atonement is real. I will spend the next 16 months trying to become the missionary she is, and when I see her again, I hope I will be able to be as exceptional a person as she is. I will miss her dearly, but she will work wonders in any part of the world she is in. She will forever be a part of my heart! Oh, and parents: she promised me a sleepover as soon as possible when I was home, so be prepared for that! haha Gosh. I love my mission. I love my life because of my dear family and friends at home. I miss you all a ton this holiday season: I am so jealous that she gets to hug her family this week! I can't wait for us all to swap stories when I get home!!!!!!!

So needless to say, it's been a little hard to focus this week. I am learning a lot about faith and prayer because we are working on goals as a mission. It is wonderful to learn about goal setting and it's role in my life, especially ones with the Lord included. I am studying chapter 6 in PMG about how to be more Christlike. (Sister Lloyd is PRO at this chapter, so my study this morning was going through her PMG and writing down all her notes. :) haha yes. I am a nerd.)
~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

IOWA CITY - Week 9, Week 11 mission


Dearest Mom, dad, sammy, Elder Ben Sumsion, and Lexi:
This week was AMAZING!!!!!!! Although I really miss you 5. I guess if I were home, it would really only be the 3 of you....but seriously, you 5 are my favorite! As the holidays wind closer, I have started thinking of our Christmas traditions, and this week I found myself missing my cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. THANK YOU for living close to our extended family. I miss you all so much!!!!!!! I have loved being such a big part of each others lives.
I'm not exactly homesick....just grateful. Sister Lloyd has officially become one of my closest friends I've ever found. I keep trying to convince her to stay here forever. She'll be home for Christmas, so she and I talked a lot this week about how grateful we are for the families and background that we have come from. Remember the LOVE focus of my email last week? That love that I am capable of feeling is a result of my family. You have each taught me how to love...and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you for loving me even when we get CRAZY! Thanks for laughing at my movie quotes and how silly I am. I am so glad our family bond is eternal and unbreakable thanks to the bond formed in the temple.
I got to bear powerful testimony this week of the importance of families. So Sister Lloyd and Sister Murphy are both Sister Training Leaders (STL). I think I've talked about them before, but here is a refresher: They are over about 20 sisters, and travel to their areas and help the sisters with individual, companionship, and (often times) emotional complications.I seriously think I have the coolest companions on this mission. Before, Sister Lloyd's STL companion was with other sister in Iowa City, so we would go together while Sister Lloyd and Sister Phelps traveled....but now Murphy is in...so guess what? THEY TOOK ME WITH THEM!!!!!!!!!! It was the coolest week EVER! I felt so selfish because all I did was watch these two sisters I adore do the coolest work in the world. And I just sat and tried to take in ever bit of wisdom. Their very presence brings peace. They really understand how to lead in love. They joked that when Lloyd left, I would be called and I about threw up on the spot. I am NOT a leader: so it is wonderful to watch THE BEST in action. I was so thrilled to be their little tag along. So yeah: we were in our area for about 24 this whole week. I feel like I get trained all day long and I still can't get enough.I'm addicted to knowledge of the Gospel and of my Savior right now. And how to be a better missionary. GAH! I am so selfish but I am LOVING THIS! And I hope that I can use this love and knowledgge
So in one of the areas, in a little town called Muscatine, I taught Micheal and Courtney and they are AMAZING! They are similar to Ben's couple: want to get baptized, but need to be married. The girl is only 19 and by the end of the lesson, I felt like I had known her previously. We just clicked and I felt like I just understood her. She was so excited about the church, but was terrified to be married so young. I was agreeing with her. I saw my own fears in her life. I saw how much she loved this boy, but also how she wanted to be sure in marriage because they have a son together and she didn't want him to grow up in a broken home. Out of no where I bore testimony of how special the temple sealing is and that it didn't matter that she was scared because I could tell that her husband and her were honest seekers of truth, and that they loved each other, and I told them that this was all they needed. I walked away with a grateful heart and I almost called you, mom and dad, right then and there to thank you for being worthy temple recommend holders and for staying together. There are SO MANY broken homes I've seen out here and I haven't even made it through two transfers! I am so grateful for our family and how I know how much work life and marriage takes. I LOVE OUR FAMILY!!!!!!
It snowed for the first time on Sunday, but I'm not even cold yet. The wind chill is the worst and it hasn't been windy all week so I am WARM! I love it. That grey jacket we found plus Holly's boots are miracles. The Lord really provides for His servants.
LOVE MY LIFE! Trying to study Christlike attibutes and how to feel the Spirit. It's the greatest work in the world. I am so happy. HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!  (movie quote from Other Side of Heaven)
-Sister Sumsion
QUINNS: THANK YOU FOR THE PILLOW CASE!!!!! You are so kind to think of me this season!!
--
~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~
 Iowa Des Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave Ste 19
Urbandale, IA 50322

Monday, December 2, 2013

IOWA CITY - week 8, week 10 mission

This week, I wanna write about something that's been on my mind a lot: love.
It's a beautiful thing.
We walk into random people's homes. And we start talking and suddenly they are gushing their deep emotions to us. And it's incredible how my heart responds instantly with love. I can't even judge them. I don't even know them. And yet I just want the best for them. I want them so badly to read the BoM so they can feel of God's love because that is SO much better than any love I could give them.
Sister Lloyd constantly stresses the importance of teaching people out of love...and I feel pretty inadequate to love this week.I'm just one girl. One girl with many imperfections. Who can't figure out what people need.
I got the coolest confirmation about the BoM last week (I did tell that story, right? last p-day feels like a life-time ago) and I have been so restless this week to share with others the importance of reading that book. It changed everything for me. And it can change the life of anyone who reads it, no matter how many times they have read it before. There are so many people who don't, won't, or even members who had STOPPED reading it, and their lives are completely affected by that choice.
I'm anxious for the knowledge that comes with this study. Satan has actually been using to his advantage this week. There were times when I didn't even want to teach people because I'm so obsessed with the BoM and feel like I don't even know what to say about it: just that it's true and that they should read it....which is maybe the point anyway. Maybe I'm not supposed to know it for that reason, you know? Maybe I'm just supposed to point other people to it.

Which brings me to my big focus of love this week: and that is my companions. Sister Lloyd will be on a plane home in less than 3 weeks. She's overwhelmed: and I feel so inadequate to be her friend. I don't know what to say or to do. She's been pretty quiet as she comes to terms with everything. Two nights ago I just sat there hugging her and crying because she was hurting and there was nothing I could do about it. And then it kind of hit me that maybe this was enough. Maybe words were superfluous at this moment. Maybe all I needed to do was continue to love her. I thought a lot this week (being Thanksgiving) about how much love had changed MY life. About the perfect friend at the perfect time was the exact support I needed. Or how my parent's loving atmosphere had made me see the world on a positive level. How Sister Lloyd being in my life at this time has changed me so deeply I don't even know what to think about it. I thought about how much we all respond to love. How much we crave it. How much we need it to be happy or to do anything else in life.
And then I thought about Christ. That's why we need Him. Because He loves us better than any mortal ever could. We find healing in His love. And peace. And happiness. And everything we need. I am doing so much study on the Atonement right now and how Christ can literally lift our burdens and carry our trials in this life, not just in the world to come. He can help us. Here. Now. This very moment. We just need to turn to Him. He is waiting.
I don't get it all the way. And I wish I did. I wish I could tell you that I know how to psychoanalyze people. Or to cast my burdens at the Lord's feet. But I'm trying. And it's coming.
Jesus is the Christ. The Messiah that the prophets have testified of for the entire span of the world's history. He is my Savior. From pain. From hurt. From confusion. From doubt. From the crushing forces of this world. Stop fighting the love He's trying to give to you.
......Thanks. I think that was more of a vent to my heart than it was to anyone else.
I love you, family. You are the reason I love this world. And I'm not exaggerating that.


--
~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~

Iowa Des Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave Ste 19
Urbandale, IA 50322

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

IOWA CITY - week 7, week 9 mission

HOLY RAINBOWS! This week was awesome!

God is the most merciful being EVER. Thank you for all the prayers in my behalf because SISTER LLOYD AND I STAYED TOGETHER!  She understands me perfectly and never judges me for my imperfection, but instead does everything in her power to instill in my heart a change for the better. She is SUCH a blessing in my life.

I LOVED the work this week. My studies have just been mind-blowing and I am SOAKING up the knowledge that comes directly from the Spirit. I crave it. I seek it. I want it so bad. (some days it doesn’t come and I am still trying to figure out why…but that will come in time, right?) Part of the reason the work is so good this week is because we got another companion!!! Sister Chloe Murphy is the cutest thing ever. She was actually trained by Sister Lloyd too, so us three are like this unstoppable combo and I’m just lovin’ it. It is SO cool to hear her and Lloyd speak of stories and how THE work of salvation continues.

I got the most powerful testimony from her this week that the Lord is a part of this work. She got the impression to share 1 Nephi 17 with some other sisters…little did she know, that chapter was for me. It would take 20 minutes to describe why it hit me so hard, but as I read about the Lord showing Nephi how to build a boat, the Spirit testified to my heart that God wouldn’t leave me if I did the things He asked me to do. He WANTS to bless us. But laws are conditional to US doing OUR part. Wow. Church is true. Who knew? I didn’t. I feel everyday that my testimony yesterday was a joke compared to what it is at the end of each day. I LOVE being here. I LOVE the scriptures for answering my prayers…and my companions for answering my unspoken ones. This week I really craved that confirmation. And when it happened, I was FLOORED by how real the Book of Mormon is. READ IT! Anyone listening, PLEASE READ IT!

Iowa City is a cool city. It’s like country + college town + trailer parks + adorable neighborhoods, all in one city. I love it here. The people are SO nice. I know hard times (and even hard companions) will come…but I LOVE being “in this part of the Lord’s vineyard.” There are like 13 sets of missionaries here, so it always seems to be a party. It snowed for the first time, so it's getting a little chilly, but I still refuse to break out my winter coat: :) so it's not THAT bad yet.

Scott (the truck driver) is doing great. He teaches ME a lesson on humility and positive attitude every time I talk to him.

D_____ is the greatest 12 year old EVER. Her date was supposed to be this coming Saturday…but her mom isn’t exactly on board yet. But I don’t even mind because I am secretly thinking much good will come out of this. I seriously feel like she’s my little sister. She is SO passionate about Jesus Christ: I always forget how young she is. She came up to me after church on Sunday, on the brink of tears because her friend had been really hurt her and another friend. The Lord works in AMAZING ways because we were then able to teach her the most powerful lesson. She will changes LIVES as a member of this church. She is so strong, especially from what she’s been through. Every time I see her, I reflect on what a weakling I am: my life has been so incredibly perfect, and my faith definitely needs a lesson or two from a 12 year old…and a 14 year old prophet in the Sacred Grove. Amazing. So amazing. So much love in one living room!!!!!

Last Wednesday, I'm not going to lie, I was super homesick. I had SUCH good intentions of writing all these people I love...and instead I spent the whole day lying in bed with the flu. Luckily is was P-day so I didn't even have to miss out on missionary work, and I was well enough to do studies in the morning...but you have no idea how much I missed my loved ones back home. Luckily it was a 24 hour bug and the next morning I felt better than EVER. I really feel like Heavenly Father was reminding me how good I have it. I was SO grateful that day. He really takes care of me...I just feel so guilty for not writing everyone! Anyways: LOVE YOU ALL and I am so glad I'm not pregnant. Being nauseous for one day is bad enough. :) Also: I think I got it from the family we live with...but their 4 little girls are the cutest thing EVER that I didn't regret it at all. :) I LOVE MY LIFE SO MUCH. I pray often that my family is doing ok at home.....but God knows that everytime I pray that, my real wish is for my mother to not have to worry about me. My family: I miss you terribly. ONE MONTH TIL SKYPE TIME!?!?!?! Speaking of which: we are well taken care of for Thanksgiving: we are spending most of the evening with a member of the mission presidency and his wife. AH! Love my life.

~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~

Monday, November 18, 2013

IOWA CITY - week 6, week 8 mission


Hola Familia! 

Bienvenida a Iowa! hahah jk. I'm speaking English. :) But sometimes I forget. I saw the pictures you sent me of Ben this week and they were "blazed in my mind' all week. (just like Grandpa always says).

I LOVE THIS WORK. I love it so much. My testimony grows so much everyday that I hardly recognize myself from yesterday. 

Sister Lloyd has changed my entire life. The way I think, the way I feel, the way I love. She is my role model of things she doesn't even know I needed. Her character is more than I could have ever asked for.  I can't even describe how merciful and loving our Father in Heaven is because He blessed me with her. She is an exceptional missionary and one of my favorite human beings on this planet. We get the call TODAY to know if we are staying together for transfers on Thursday. I have SO MUCH I still need to learn from her.

Dominique. Cutest 12 year old of my life. I feel so much love for her and I've talked to her a total of 4 times now. She is having a really hard time in her life due to family stuff and a member referred her to us and she committed to baptism in december the first time we met with her. I wish I could show you the complete and pure joy I feel everytime she talks. Satan is a complete jerk and I have told him several times this week to get lost. He works hard on everyone, but we know there is a STRONGER force at work here, and I can tell that she listens to that one. She's amazing.

Scott T---. The truck driver that Sister Lloyd and Sister Harkness found. He was baptized last week. FREAKING MOST HUMLBE MAN EVER. Teaching him the "recent convert lessons" is the funnest thing ever. He took us out to dinner this week to thank us for changing his life. I feel like I did nothing. He was so humble he let God do all the teaching for him.

Iowa is GORGEOUS. I'm moving here. And it's warm still. So happy.

This work is amazing. All I can say is READ YOUR SCRIPTURES EVERYDAY and you will never, ever doubt the truth of this church
Gosh. Never enough time. LOVE YOU.
~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~
 
Scott T
Thumbs up for Scott T

 
The Sisters over the University ward in Iowa City.
 

Monday, November 11, 2013

IOWA CITY - week 5, week 7 mission

Chloe sent us a personal email this week except we can share this...

Sister Lloyd LOVES pancakes and I told her about Carey's pancake business and this same week Carrie Hopkins sent me a package with some in it. TELL HER SHE WAS THE ANSWER TO SISTER LLOYD'S UNSPOKEN PRAYER!!!!!!!
 
love love love you

http://parkcitypeacecakes.com/index.html

Monday, November 4, 2013

IOWA CITY - week 4, week 6 mission

THANK YOU for all the things you sent me. I REALLY loved getting Ben's full email. I really missed you and him so much this week because I really don't feel like we get enough time to talk. :(  But anyways: Jordan Murray's, Jorgen's, and Ben's email seriously lifted my heart so much.  Thank you for all your care.

Also: I'm so sorry, last week... I realized you had written a big question email and I went to respond and realized that I was 2 minutes over my email time limit. :( Exact obedience is sometimes painful.

To answer a few questions:

--I seriosuly seriously don't need anything. I am so so happy. I never feel a need to have speakers. We have an ipod hook up to the car...but usually we don't even use that because Lloyd and I always have something to talk about. SO FUN! So yes: we have a car almost 24/7. We are sharing it with one other companionship....but they are over the University ward....so they end up just walking a lot. :) So no complaints.
 
I also bought gloves and sweater-tights so I am SUPER warm. :) It's so great not to need anything but sleep, a name tag, and my scriptures. SO GLAD WE BOUGHT ME GOOD SHOES. However: would you send 2 packages of those Moleskin journals in the yellow princess girls' room. :) blue and green. :) please.  Mom, your prayers are absolutely and completely felt. This week has been amazing.

The scripture is 2 Nephi 28:30.....but it's ok if you told them a diferent one. I love ALL the scriptures.

also: I love that you wrote in your note "it will be fun, we'll do it together." I already taught Sister Lloyd that inside joke so I could use it with her. hahahah so funny. I miss our family....but she quotes movies almost more than I do so we are having a blast. It seriously doesn't even feel like work. It's just like best friends going out and talking about what we both LOVE!!!!! I know hard times will come but for now I am just LOVING it. 

love love love love
-sisterchloemichellesumsion

Monday, October 28, 2013

IOWA CITY - week 3, week 5 mission

Dearest Muuffee,  (what she calls Sam)

how are you, little brother? I was thinking about you Friday and Sunday and I so miss you. I loved those few weeks we got together before I left: just roaming around the house, hanging out. You are so cool. I feel like I got to know you a lot better during that time.

So here's the thing: YOU HAVE TO GO ON A MISSION. It is literally the best thing you could do with your life. Family will come. Hobbies will fade. But the things you experience on a mission are the BEST. This is the work of God. I know it. I know that when I say that I have been called to be a representative of Jesus Christ through the power of God, that I AM RIGHT! I got a blessing last week and it was just INCREDIBLE to feel how much God loves me. I know that it may seem far away, and a huge responsibility, but please please please do everything you can to be ready to serve God when the time comes for Him to call you. READ YOUR BOOK OF MORMON EVERY DAY. Satan works hard on trying to get people not to do that and it is SO essential. (Come on! It will be fun! We can do it together! (: ) Ok but seriously. The best way to be closer to your Father in Heaven is by studying that book. DO IT!!!!!!!!

Speaking of which, we live with a member family who has 4 adorable little girls. The two year old always comes up to me and says, "Wanna build a tower together?" and I think of our family phrase all the time. It's hilarious. Also, the most random things remind me of you: zombies???? wimp.com???? slang words that are used by some people from Chicago????our GPS's British voice??? marcel the shell???? yeah. random, I told you. anyway. totally miss you.

Guess what? This week we are going to have a baptism!!!! Sister Lloyd and her companion before me came in contact with this man named Scott. He's a 65 year old trucker driver and he is SSSOOOOOO cool. I seriously love him so much and I've met him once! We have our lessons over the phone and he goes to church wherever he is in the U.S. at that time on Sunday mornings. He is literally HUNGRY for more information. On his rest stops, he reads every manual the church has put out. He's SSSSOOOOOO amazing. I feel like he teaches ME every time we talk. I wish everyone had the hunger for the Gospel that he has, myself included. So yeah: he took the weekend off just for his baptism on Saturday and confirmation on Sunday. LOVE HIM! I'm so happy to witness this.

Other than that we are just tryin' our best at the work. We hardly do any finding, we teach a few investigators, but mostly we are doing a TON of contacting people that we know of: ESPECIALLY in the ward. There are a few members we teach that haven't come to church in forever and those are my FAVORITE! They are the coolest people ever and I want SSSOOOO badly for them to remember the Atonement and how it once changed their life. They know the church is true, they all just have their own struggles. I love helping to create an environment in their home where the Spirit can be felt. THAT is what people need. That feeling that the Spirit brings is what people crave. Because it feels SO amazing to be at peace and know that God is real. 

Hey. I love you a lot, little brother. I'm so proud of all you do and the example you are to your friends. I know it's a crazy world out there, and I am so proud to watch you, only 15 years old, be man enough to go to church. I loved watching you pass the sacrament this summer. You are an amazing kid and I hope you know I have your best interest at heart. I want to do feel he Spirit in your life more because it is so personal and SSOOOO wonderful. Thanks for the email this week. You are so nice--thanks for taking the time.

 LOVE YOU, SAMBO!


~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~

Iowa Des Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave Ste 19
Urbandale, IA 50322

SHOUTOUTS:

PEERS: You are the best! Your support means so much to me. Your chips saved my study times this week. Hungry missionary = can't focus! :)

INNISI: Love your family so much. Seriously, I wish I could have shown you the joy on my face when I opened your package. I was like HECK YES I FEEL SO LOVED!!!! I wish I could pop across town and tell you hello.

MURRAYS: Wow. For reals: the missionary love in your family is ridiculous. I so owe you guys. Give Sister Jordan my love: she's been my inspiration for a long time.

LECHE JENKINS: Gosh. Stop it. I love you so much.

AUSTIN BRUNSON: Thought of you SO many times this week. Thanks for changing my LIFE!!

 

First Day in Iowa - 10-10-13

A good day contacting
 
Mom - Your candle lit our heart-to-heart ice cream party!
 
Matching Hawkeye pride. And p.s. we are gangster.
LOVE THIS GIRL TO DEATH.
 

Monday, October 21, 2013

IOWA CITY - week 2, week 4 mission


Mom, I love this work so much!
 
Sister Lloyd and I had a few SUPER amazing talks this week and I had some really cool learning experiences directly from the Spirit and I just feel incredible. I know that my Savior is my rock. I know that sometimes in life, we have to hit "rock bottom" to figure out that He IS the rock at the bottom. I have clung to my testimony of Him this week because I keep learning about Him and loving how much this Gospel blesses people's lives.

Sister Lloyd showed me a talk this week that is called "His Atonement and The Journey through Mortality" by Elder Bednar. Changed everything. This week I have been SSOOOOOO happy. Happier than I thought I would be. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing something wrong because this is so great for me that I totally forget about everything else in the world.

Except you guys. And my friends. I love my family so much. I know that you guys are the second rock on my "cairn" tower of rocks. :) I hope you built some of those in Moab. READ THE TALK. It's amazing.

Anyways, yeah: I am so happy and most of that is from specific moments that just make it so hard to doubt that this is the only true work of God.

My favorite scripture right now (tell Bishop sorry it's taken so long) is one I can't think of the reference to write now because I am so frazzled that I get to talk to you right now. But it's the  "line upon line, precept upon precept" scripture and I have been pondering on it this whole week. God really works with us according to WHERE WE ARE AT.

Hhmmm. Where AM I at right now? I'm not really even sure, but I know I love it. This week I tried to learn as much as I could about EXPERIENCING what I gained from the MTC. I feel like I heard so many inspirational things there and now I'm trying to take things slow and apply them. I've noticed myself trying to take small theories and test them out. I had a few times this week where I thought for sure I had just received revelation so I tried my best to follow it and remember what it felt like. My goal this next week is to identify those moments more clearly. Sister Lloyd and I had a really good talk about it during our weekly planning/goal setting and I am so excited to see what comes of it this week. 

**I feel like my testimony is growing so much more because of this effort. My memory is HORRIBLE, but I love tryign to remember these specific moments where I am confident of the Spirit and what it's testifying to me. For example, yesterday we were teaching a member family after our dinner appointment. We were talking about the Brother of Jared and I was praying for Heavenly Father to let me know what this family needed and what I could tell them that would be important to them. The only thing I thought of was "Eternal Families"...which felt unclear and off topic. I had no idea what to say but I bore a 30 second testimony that this Gospel blesses families and we can live together forever. The father of the home ended with a "thank you for that" and we said a prayer and left. I'm not sure if he was referring to what I said or just that we had come, but I felt so happy knowing that I at least had tried to bless their home in the way they needed it. I hope as I continue to look for those things, I will be more confident of the Spirit's testimony to me.

There were also a few moments where I felt COMPLETE love for people I didn't even know it was so cool. I am slowly learning what it means to be a part of this wonderful work. THE wonderful work of the Savior's ministry to bring others unto Him. I hope with the authority I've been given, the power I can gain from obedience and study, and the knowledge I have of my relationship with my Savior, I can be a better servant of Him. 

I also thought a lot this week about how much preperation I had to be here. I love (mentions specific boys), my seminary teachers, Nancy Jones, Judy Call, Buffy, my mommy, my older sister, my daddy, and the love from my family. I love them for what they taught me BECAUSE they loved me. I love them for their foundation in Jesus Christ and for who I am because I met them. I can now add Sister Lloyd to that list. She is building me up higher than I ever thought I could be.

Words this week are failing me. I love my trainer more than I can express in any other way besides tears. I love my family more than I can say and I know this Gospel is true. Period. No battle. You better believe it and know that I mean it.

LOVE LOVE LOVE you

There is no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in the comfort zone. --Elder Benny Sumsion, via, dad, via mom's print out, POSTED UP ON MY WALL!!!!!!!!!! love it!

~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~

Iowa Des Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave Ste 19
Urbandale, IA 50322

SHOUTOUTS:

MOM (Verhaarens): I totally know Sister Matley: she was in my MTC district and I love her SO MUCH. Also (Grandma and Grandpa Mongtomery), Sister Lloyd know the Lowes! They are in a different ward, but how cool!

DADDY AND KELSEE and Aunt Alisa and Uncle Ken: HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I miss you all so much. It was hard to write down the date and be like FLIP ELDER (from Best Two Years movie) I WANT TO SEE THEM ON THEIR BIRTHDAY!

ELDER REX SUMSION WELCOME TO THE RANKS, my cousin!!!!! So proud of you. And Alisa and Brittney thank you so much for your
letters. They are seriously so powerful and wonderful to me!

Monday, October 14, 2013

IOWA CITY - Week 1, Week 3 mission

BEST. DAY. EVER

I prayed so hard Thursday night that you would sleep well that night and be comforted because I almost cried myself to sleep the first night because I was so happy. My companion is literally the greatest thing that ever happened on this whole adventure so far. Her name is Sister Keisha Lloyd and as soon as I realized what an amazing trainer I got, I don't think I've said a prayer since that hasn't thanked Heavenly Father for giving me the best start to my mission EVER! It hasn't even been four days and I feel like we are already friends. She's so real about how she approaches the Gospel because she knows it well and LOVES it with all of her heart. She has used the Atonement and the Book of Mormon to bless her life and the life of her investigators in ways I didn't think possible. She is the "Sister Training Leader" for our zone and the neighboring one which basically means she provides for the emotional well being of all the sisters in two zones. The girl is frickin' SOLID. Like, I feel like she takes all these burdens on her shoulders and turns them into something beautiful. She has a way with people I've never really seen before. The way she takes to them is like watching love just pour out. I think I learn something from her everytime she talks. Her testimony and love just make me want to be the best missionary I can be. Plus, she's been through hell and back in this area, so she knows it like the back of her hand.

I feel like I am RUNNING to catch up with her because everything is so foriegn to me. In the MTC they really tried to stress exact obedience and I feel like I am still trying to stand on my own two feet to be precise in anything yet. I feel like I can do both at the same time...but I have yet to wrap my head around everything and prove that. I'm trying my best with repentence and working as hard as I can...but I haven't quite figured out how to do this whole "mission" thing. :) Have I really only been here four days? From the amount I am learning, I would have guessed I had been here for months.


I think I would have literally had a heart attack if I had culture shock and a language on top of this. Looks like Heavenly Father knows me PERFECTLY. I can't decide if it's a good thing that I haven't been overwhlemed in the slightest since I was set apart. On one hand, I know that THERE WILL BE HARD TIMES so I should just try to soak it up......but on the other hand, the quote Dad told be via Elder Ben via his MTC teacher has been RINGING in my head every 5 inutes: "There is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone." I don't want to get comfortable, because when I get comfortable I get prideful, and when I get prideful I get unteachable. And that is no way to be a servant of an all-knowing God.

I absolutely LOVE member dinners. I feel like I can feel a change in the way wards work with missionaries ever since "The Work of Salvation" fireside. I love seeing members who are scared to do missionary work because they remind me of who I was before the MTC changed my way of thinking. Don't get me wrong, I still get TERRIFIED to approach random people and bring up the Gospel...but I have so much more conviction to do so. I am so excited to see the 4th ward here in Iowa City grows to be a teaching-loving ward so they will bring us more investigators!!!! Well...that's our hope at least.

Oh yeah! So my area is the family ward in Iowa City. The University of Iowa is here so we have single's ward missionaries, married ward missionaries, spanish speaking missionaries, and portugese speaking missionaries in this town. It's a bit crazy, but way fun.

I am so thrilled to finally be here. It's been years of preparation and months of waiting, and I am so calm about finally BEING ABLE TO DO THE GREATEST WORK THERE IS.

~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~

Iowa Des Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave Ste 19
Urbandale, IA 50322

SHOUTOUTS:

KATIE BERNS: THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE. That was the cutest thing letter ever!

BARBERS and momma: Thank you for the treats. We were literally starving because on the day before Fast Sunday the cafeteria closed early and then I got your packages and we ate 3/4 of it instantly. :) The other sisters in my room LOVE you guys.

Familia: THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR LETTERS. Legit emotional happiness everytime.

Joshua Paul: iPod made it to me my last day in the MTC and my trainer doesn't have one so you ROCK!!!!!!!!! for bringing music to my life.

Alicia Jenkins: If I write you a letter right now, I would bawl my eyes out. You are my inspiration. THANK YOU for the "Light in Darkness" analogy. I thought about it for days afterwards....and stillpsychoanalyzing it. You know me SO well.

My closest RM friends: I haven't made it through a day without thinking of you and all the things I learned from your love and your stories. THANK YOU FOR BEING THE BEST MISSION PREP TEACHERS EVER. Couldn't have done this without you.

Ashley Rodriguiez: Thanks for being my TRUE trainer. Miss you already.

 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Week 1 MTC

Wow! That was a really fun month at the MTC...
no, wait. that's not right...
Wow! That was the longest day ever in the MTC...
no, wait. that's not right either...

Wow! One whole week in the MTC. "NUTS" as Ben would say. I love this place SSSOOOOOOO much. I seriously can't believe how much I've learned in just this short time. I feel like Bella when she gets transformed into a vampire: memories of my "old self" are so hazy. I feel like I've learned more about God and my relationship with Him than I have, like, my whole life!!!! Ok, fine; that's an exaggeration completely: but still. I feel like I've been here for a long time based on the amount that I've learned. I keep thinking how cool it is that all of these people I love that have served missions have done the same thing. It's SWEET!

Ok so my district consists of me and my companion, Sister Batty, along with another sister trio, and two companionships of elders.
My zone consists of 4 more sisters and 4 more elders.
ALL GOING TO IOWA.
My church branch consists of my zone.
And my church zone consists of my zone plus another zone.
I have 6 hours of class a day with my district, and 1 or 2 hours with my zone.
Confused yet? SO AM I !!!!!

Average day:
5:55 wake up
7:00 be at breakfast. chug down quickly.
7:15 be to class. 1 hour personal study with my favorite 9 missionaries.
8:15 3 hours from Brother Gallo. BYU student. Explains things easily. 
        Comic relief MUCH NEEDED.
11:20 lunch
12:15 3 hours from Brother Taylor. Married. Knows missionary work. 
        TEACHES ME SO MUCH.
3:15 companion study
4:20 dinner (yes you read that right: we go to bed early, ok?)
5:15 GYM TIME
6:45 Zone lesson. Brother Fairclough. 
        MY FAVORITE PERSON IN THE WHOLE WORLD. (see following paragraph)
7:45 Some kind of devotional or the like. aka more learning. Usually Spirit-filled. 
         Usually crying. from happiness.
9:30 journal time
10:15 companion study and accountability time (I'll explain later)
10:30 lights out

Ok now that we've covered the basics, I'll let you in to an experience that pretty much describes everything I've had here:
So we have these "mock investigations" with our teachers. Experience = the best way to learn. So me and my companion go into our first one (almost 48 hours after gettign here) basically with absolutely NO knowledge. Our teacher is just like: "Feel it: ready go!" 

So zone lesson is right after that and my compnaion and I come in and our teacher turns to us as I talk to my companion.
 I'm like, "Brother Fairclough, you are making me nervous." 
He's like, "why?" 
I'm like: "I just had my first lesson."
He suggests we say a prayer.
So all of a sudden, my companion and I are bawling our eyes out in a prayer, telling the Lord how completely scared we were to talk to people. I'm like freaking out cuz I'm all of a sudden SO trusting of this teacher in front of me and my companion and my Father in Heaven. The prayer was one of the most magical experiences I've had in a long time. I was pouring my heart out to my Heavenly Father, and it felt like nothing in the world mattered any more. I forgot where I was, I forgot who I had been. All that mattered in the moment was my relationship with my Father. I told Him I didn't like talking to people. I told Him how horrible my first lesson had gone. 
And at that moment, all I could feel was that He knew. And I was completely calm.
That calmness hasn't left me all week.
Words are put in my mouth when I open it, trusting that He will fill it.
I never doubt His love.
I feel Him talk to me.

And it's the most amazing thing ever. It makes me feel like I can do this. I'm not good. I have no idea what I'm doing, actually. 
But I know He's there.
And that makes everything different.
It makes everything easier.
and it makes everything and anything possible.

I LOVE THIS PLACE SO MUCH. 
It's hard to think I'll do anything else with my life after this.

I love you all,
~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~

Iowa Des Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave Ste 19
Urbandale, IA 50322



SHOUTOUTS:
Mommy: You have your very own snail-mail letter coming. More details, I promise.
Katie: your package was the best thing ever: only you forgot Onion soup mix. :) hehe I'll write you asap
Grandparents: I MISS YOU ALL SO MUCH. Your support is the best out here for some reason.
Friends: THANK YOU FOR MY LETTERS I SO LOVE YOU. 
All the people who love, support, and came to my farewell: THANK YOU. I so so so love you.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mission Day 1 MTC

I LOVE MY LIFE!  and the MTC

First day, I showed up and already talking like Jordan Murray -
(friend of ours who described the MTC email clock as very stressful counting down to your death...)

Sister who takes suitcases from curbside: talking at a million miles an hour.  Me: "EXCUSE ME I'm HAVING AN EMOTIONALLY TRAMATIC EXPERIENCE HERE." Ha ha.  And the whole time she's like "This is so awesome.  You'll do awesome." And I'm like "Can it woman and let me cry!"

Walk in. "You're late to the district meeting sister."  I'M A FREAKING "S" - DON'T EVEN!  So I watch orientation video alone - except companion who has to watch it twice.  Sorry sis!  Oh well, she's adorable.  Sister Batty.  From Freemont.  We had a game where we thought of as many things as you had in common with your companion.  Neither of us has been bucked off a horse - although my comp here has been bucked off a cow. #Loveit #Don'task

District = straight faces.
I think my teacher is HILARIOUS.
Only one laughing.  #awkward #don'tcare

Saw Emily Hales (her roommate that checked in the same day) at the first meeting - I think.

Some more meetings.  Lots of SUPER energetic people who have been here like 8 days & know everything.  #prosasap

5 girls in my room.  All going to Iowa Des Moines, English.
GIANT SLEEPOVER.

ok time and paper is up now.  Love you. 
- Sister Sumsion

(from a handwritten letter.  Her P-day is Thursday so she only gets this Thursday before she leaves for Iowa)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chloe's Addresses


Her MTC address:

Sister Chloe Michelle Sumsion
Oct 09 IA-DMOIN    
2009 N 900 E Unit 111
Provo, UT  84602

Her Mission Home address is:

Sister Chloe Michelle Sumsion
Iowa Des Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave Ste 19
Urbandale, IA  50322

CHLOE TO THE MTC!

Chloe left for the Iowa Des Moines Mission on Wednesday Sept. 25th.  I am her mom and will updating this with her emails.  I am not as creative as she is so I will just post the pictures of dropping her off at the MTC.  It was a great AND a hard day.

Thanks for your support!  - Kristen

Writing a letter to her brother and sister before she left.

Last meal in Park City before she left.
(Yes, we made Sam change his clothes.)

Sister Sumsion

Saying Goodbye near the Provo Temple

SO HARD to say goodbye.
Our new favorite picture of her.


3 suitcases, a backpack, and a purse for 18 months!
She was smiling.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dear new adventure,


Your life is in slow motion. You say goodbye to your closest friends, hoping you'll get to steal more time with them anyway. 

It's those moments you steal that leave the magic lingering in your heart. 
When one smiles at you on the lawn, on a blanket, and you know they understand you completely. 

In those moments where you can't picture life getting any better than this. You can't imagine being happier than you are at this moment. 

And yet you know everything will be worth it.

This is the day I've been waiting for.

Goodbye, my world as I know it.
Hello adventure in Iowa. 

I love adventure. Especially the beginning of adventure. It's my favorite.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Signing off as Chloé Michelle.

Here comes Sister Sumsion.

FAITH AND LOVE!!!!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Dear whiteness,

Sometimes you take something, and you make it yours.

Sometimes you feel a part of this massive universe.

Sometimes you see responsibility and power.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dear subjective definitions of the word love,

Sometimes, I glance out my window into the darkness just to make sure he didn't come. It's usually right before I jump into bed, giving his headlights one last chance to shine across my driveway before I tuck my faith in and try to tell it goodnight.

And yet, somewhere deep inside of me, there is a voice telling me I'm wrong. It forces my heart to accept that maybe a man-like-jazz-standard-lyrics-have-made-me-believe-in doesn't actually exist. Maybe he won't be the throw-pebbles-at-my-window kinda guy. Maybe he won't be ideal in a tuck-my-hair-behind-my-ears-before-he-holds-my-face-in-a-long-romantic-kiss sort of way.  Maybe he won't be anyone like any-male-role-from-a-chick-flick has let me imagine. Maybe there won't be fireworks or butterflies or the romance of marrying the boy that's been in love with me the whole time and I was too blind to see he was everything I needed. Maybe it will just be some guy. Who I meet and have a pleasant conversation with. Who dates me for awhile and falls in love. And maybe that will be enough. Maybe I'll want to be with him so much that I will let go of all these stupid childhood expectations that have stuck to my mind ever since I watched my first Disney movie and created a concept of the way fairy tales are supposed to work.

But my heart can't make sense of it all. Is he out there or not? Is my idea of the person he will be only a combination of ideally timed moments and one-liners? Or do I really have a good idea of what I need? Of who he will be.

And yet I can't help but wish that magic exists. And that someday, not letting go of someone will actually be a concept I understand. 

So I let my heart turn into solid color so that my mind will turn quiet enough to sleep. But there is a part of my gut that never sleeps: the part that clings to the fact that someone out there belongs to me. And that maybe he's lying awake tonight too, wondering what's taking us so long to find each other. 


photos courtesy of the band Sway

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dear expectations,

I've realized something lately. My biggest life-theory in a really long time. Which, for me, is saying something. I come up with a lot. But this one is a good one:

Our lives are entirely revolved around our expectations. 
The ideas we have, in our brains, of the way things should go...they mean everything.

If we set our expectations to high, we are disappointed. If we set them too low, we miss out on a lot of joy. So we wake up, debating our risk.

Take your time coming home.
Hear the wheels as they roll.
Let your lungs fill up with smoke.
Forgive everyone.
She is here and now she is gone.
We had plans, we can't help but make love...
It's a beautiful thing when you love somebody.
How did I find love and conquer all of my fears?
See, I made it out.
Out from under the sun.
And the truth is that I feel better because I've forgiven everyone.
Now I'm not scared
of the sounds
or the states
or the stages.
I'm not scared,
I've got friends,
took my call,
came courageous.

Now I feel like I am home.
                                                                                             -Take Your Time, Fun. 







i have the coolest brother

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dear swung notes,

I'm not sure if this is a human thing, but I've decided that at least my family members have a lot of passion.

Today I found myself trotting down hour long study-tangents of the nature/history of jazz music, as well as common phrases in Korean, Portuguese, and French.

I promised myself I wouldn't do this. I promised I would keep the simplicity of Thailand with me as to not get caught up in the superfluous entertainment systems of the Western mentality I am enthralled in.

But I was reminded today of what I've actually known for a long time: I love learning. School subjects, psychoanalytic human subjects. :) Language, language of particular subjects. :) Music theory. Constellations. Soccer. Make up. Crafts. Religion.

It all just makes me more inquisitive. Life is just cool, you know?

And this is all very distracting when you have to write a paper. Because a paper is an expression of what you've learned. And unfortunately, I'm no good at THAT part of learning.
sometimes, learning comes in ways you least expect it.
the world just pendulums you away.
and you end up geeking out about random things.
like swing. a completely under-rated brilliance of the world.
and you forget about Thailand.
and bask in the amazing-ness of the existence of things like Sway.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFusWYMmae0
There you have it. I've been swung. -chloemichelle

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dear "take me home",

Last Sunday I woke up to a random Thai dude and his drunk buddies playing "Country Roads" on the patio of a peaceful hostel floating on a lake. I thought about how much Thailand felt normal to me now. Home is wherever you feel comfortable, right?

I woke up today after a long day/night/day in the airports of the world and I was more confused then I've ever been in my life. Where AM I?

And a bit more than 24 hours later, it feels like I never left. This is my hometown. How could I ever replace it?


This place will always be my home. It's good to be back where people understand me!!!! #hometown#parkcityartsfestival @nathaninnis#onlypartlysadtoleaveThailand
Insta: chloemichelle456


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dear random conThai with glasses (day 67),

Ok maybe I'm the only one that does this...but you know when you are so in the moment that you forget which moment you are actually in...and then you can pull yourself out?

It happened during Thai cooking class today I was so excited to be doing exactly what I love...with people I love...at peace...that my heart was just so absorbed. And then I pulled myself up into the sky and looked down at the scene before me and it hit me all over again: I'm in a SUPER cool place with a SUPER cool life. I have good food in my tummy, beautiful nature around me, and good conversation floating into my now distant ears.

It happened again when I was shopping. I'm bustlin' around speaking as much Thai and I can muster, having so much fun bartering and getting things I super want for my mission...and then I find around to the back side of the shops, asking the score of the soccer game that's on. For one moment, this kid and I's hearts were open to each other...just watchin' the game on his computer. I couldn't stop myself from smiling: life is cool.

My FAVORITE Thai food: 
mango sticky rice (cow-knee-ow-ma-moo-ong)
who knew such a simple dish was so much work?
finding a good market
dicing and juicing the coconut
coconut cream and coconut milk...very different

happiness
steaming the rice
massive amounts of dishes

p.s. Thai's can cut mangoes like no one's business.
the far half is my Thai mom's pro skill...the closest one is my sad attempt to be conThai!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dear wannee (day 64),

"today," in Thai, literally translates to "day here"

stop reading this post

life is too short

go do something you love

imago read me a book

maybe spend myself some less time missing people and more time living

easier said then done

i'll see you in four weeks

love you




Monday, July 8, 2013

Dear path (day 62),

I have this new theory. It's that people are just bored. We spend all we earn on toys, alcohol, movies, vacations, dating, schooling, whatever. We're just entertaining ourselves.

I'm reading Poor Economics, a book by Baberjee and Duflo about the logistics of poverty. It's completely changing my ideas of the future. I'm not sure how much is true or how much should be taken with a grain of salt (if you know what I mean)...but it's absolutely brilliant. Chapter 2 already blew up my mind's thinking patterns: how people in poverty buy TVs before they buy food. How we will all spend money on food that tastes good before food that is nutritionally helpful.

I'm not entirely sure what the kids at my orphanage need. I'm no psychologist. I can't speak Thai. I haven't been a parent. I'm only 21 years old and I feel as young as they are sometimes. But I just keep thinking: "All they really want is attention." We are naturally social creatures, and that is by no means a negative aspect....but it's interesting to think that without a purpose, life just becomes a series of entertainments. It is my belief that growth provides the only break in this cycle: whether it be ambition, hope, or challenges.

I know that's a pretty bold statement. And I know I'm still naïve about a lot in life. But these are the ideas in which my concept of the world is framed. And it was really cool today to take a step back and ask myself what I stand for.

"Some nights, I don't know anymore."

can you spot the hidden words?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dear shy hearts and perpetual eyes (day 56),

Today I ALMOST did something that was a really big challenge for me. We had 34 minutes to explore a tiny Hmong village in southern Laos. I knew I would be an intrusion regardless of how I spent my time. I knew they'd be waiting to sell me things. I knew the foreigner-Asian relation would weird no matter what.

But I just couldn't do it. I couldn't bring myself to stick a camera in their face. I love faces. I love capturing those faces inside the mirrors and through the clicks of my poorly-used DSLR camera. I'm not sure why I even take pictures because no one ever sees them……but I absolutely thrive on it. 

I told myself that I wouldn't do it, and I followed through! I ran around the entire time, trying desperately to get the kids to warm up to me. Tickling only worked on a few of them. Each giggle was a small accomplishment I only craved more of. But mostly they just stared at me.

As the last of us were leaving, about 10 of them followed us down to the boat. In the confusion of chasing and leaving, there was a moment, a brief moment: one small girl shied behind the cloth draped over her forearm, her eyes never leaving me. And right then I knew exactly how she felt. 

It was strange to leave. I looked at my iPhone like it was a foreign object instead of my constant companion. What's even the point, you know? Yeah, I mean, maybe someday I'll look back at this constant stream of pictures and reminisce of what this place means to me. My blog has always been a place for me to come to peace with my world: to reiterate the beauty I'm surrounded by and accept the reality of situations that envelop me………but am I becoming so dependent on what the future will need? Am I forgetting this moment, and in place filling my mind only with how this will someday be important to me? Somedays you need to look at the world without a constant perspective from behind a viewfinder. 

And then I got back on the boat and saw some face-shots my professor had stolen of the old women in town and I about lost it. Absolutely and completely gorgeous. Stolen. What a proper word.


hhmmmm…………now what?

a stolen landscape of my own