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???? 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.


~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~

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


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.

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.


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


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


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


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.
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. 
3:15 companion study
4:20 dinner (yes you read that right: we go to bed early, ok?)
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.

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

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.
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.

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)