Monday, January 27, 2014

CEDAR FALLS, IA - Snowed in 3 times


--I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU MET SCOTT AND SISTER LLOYD!!!!!!  (Keisha lloyd is her first trainer and old comp that got home in December and Scott is the person they helped baptize who is a truck driver driving through SLC last week.  They called me to come down and meet them at temple square last week)  I AM SO HAPPY! Keisha said she felt like she was with me that day and it was so great. I miss talking to Scott so much. Give them continual thanks for all they taught me.

This week we were grounded three times because of the bad weather. Sister Monroe is from California...and our driver. It's been fun to realize this week how much the Lord has protected me in my life because I have driven in A LOT WORSE than this. hahahaha 

I got SO STIR CRAZY this week. I love every part of this work! I just love it so much that I think sometimes Sister Monroe gets annoyed because I love it so much. I want to go finding and it's like -50 and she's like I'm going to punch you.

Speaking of Sister Monroe: we work SO well together. We had the greatest talk this week because she was really upset and I asked her about it and she spilled what was on her mind. She is a fantastic person. Seriously: I love her so much. I think she works to overcome her weaknesses more than any other person I know. It is so cool to watch and sometimes it makes me feel like a WUSS because of how tough she is. She is teaching me to really talk through my emotions and frustrations. It's really cool.

Yesterday, the elders in our ward and Sister MOnroe and I talked about missionary work and how really the point of our entire lives is to be under the influence of the Spirit at all times. (that is from a talk from Enzio Bushe called "Unleashing the DOrmant Spirit" powerhouse talk, if you need on this week). It was cool to bear testimony of it because it's somehting I'm not very good at as a missionary yet: being avalible to be influenced by the Spirit at all times. So it was cool to really feel the truthfulness of my words as I spoke. I pray that all of us might be a little more willing this week to follow the Spirit: including myself.

AUNT KERRI sent me a package that was super personal to me in the area. It talked about the flame of testimony which ahs been my theme this last transfer. HOW DID YOU KNOW!?!?!?!?

Ok time up. Follow the Spirit! LOVE YOU
~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~

Monday, January 20, 2014

CEDAR FALLS, IA - Week 3, Week 17 mission

My dearest Mother,

My emails are my time to tell you all how the week has been, but I mostly end up just reflecting on the week.  They are just letters to myself. so, I guess: thank you, for letting me vent.

I am doing well. I need some clarity, but instead God is letting me choose what to do for this area, instead. I wrote some friends this week that have been really hurting, so I am sorry this is so short.

1) I will send a package next week - what should I send?  
we are actually moving apartments soon so maybe wait to send me any food. YOU ARE SO SWEET FOR THINKING OF ME.

2) Do you get fed much in this new area?  yes. we get fed SO MUCH!!! sometimes too much. I love this ward.

4) Do you like living next to University of Northern Iowa?  I was "born" (in mission terms) in UoI territory, so I am still loyal to the Hawkeyes!! :)

5) Do you like your new area?  I love the people.....but miss the people of my last ward/my old investigators

6) Do you get to go to Sunday school and Relief society or not?  W
e go to gospel principles and then RS. it's good.

I am sorry. I am over time. I love you and all is well here. Thanks for all you do for our family and the ward....and the Lord. He is proud of you, and I am proud to call you my mother.

I got a nice email from her ward mission leader (a woman) and she sent this picture.... I will include a few kind lines of her email...

Sam's Club Cedar Falls

I have the absolute delight of working with your sweet daughter!  She's new to our area, and we have quickly fallen in love with her (especially my children, who call her Sister Pumpkin and regularly talk her into hearing their jokes or combing their dolls hair).  She is a WONDERFUL missionary, and I just wanted to let you know :)  
     We took the sisters to Sams Club the other day so sister Monroe could get a new camera, and while we were there it was so fun to watch them talk to the  checkout clerk about the gospel.  While I do go on visits with them, I rarely get to see them tract, and I just wanted you to know that your missionary is wonderful.  She has such an incredible spirit about her, and is so powerfully enthusiastic about what she's doing.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

CEDAR FALLS, IA - Week 2, Week 16 mission

Dearest Kelsee,


I have been thinking of you so much this week. I felt so much myself this week. I felt so strong from my past experiences and ready to hit the ground here RUNNING.....but I really miss you and my family and my cousins and my other friends. So much, Kels. You all are so much a part of me that I almost hit tears this week at how grateful I was to have all of the support I have. I feel SSSOOOOO loved out here and I feel SO grateful for how my life has gone up to this point. I am so blessed to have gone through the trials and blessings that I have been through. I got to brag to my new companion about how cool my dad was and how much I adored my mom and how much I wanted to see my siblings again. It was so cool to remember how much love I feel from everyone back home. This week we had a really spiritual zone training meeting and a few other speakers who reminded me how much love I have for the people of this city BECAUSE I left my loved ones at home for them. It is something I have really been focusing on this week: I freakin' love this work. More than anything, Kels, because every second of everyday you are trying to be in the exact place that God wants you to be. I am CONSTANTLY seeking, being prompted by, and following the truths spoken to me by the Holy Ghost and I can't get enough of it.

There was a girl in my last area, JA---, and a man in this area, Z--- , who really just remind me of myself. They are on this quest for knowledge and truth. I have only taught them once, but it was my absolute pleasure to introduce them to the Holy Ghost as a way to receive a confirmation of truth in this crazy and chaotic world. It's so new for them...but as my companion bore testimony of the Priesthood and the reality of receiving answers to prayers, I knew in my heart that there was no way on earth this Gospel couldn't be truth. It HAS to be. I got a blessing this week and it was like: There is no way to deny that God is real and He knows me and is speaking to me. It was so cool. As Sister Lloyd and I used to say, "THE CHURCH IS SO TRUE!!!!!!" Throw your hands in the air for dramatic effect.

Stories that I wanted to share with you:

--I was in this lady's home, who is the cutest lady ever. she is black and from the south and I went to take off my boots and she was like, "Sister Monroe. Didn't you warn her? Don't you take off no boots in my house!" SSSSOOOOO FUNNY!! She is such a hoot. I have noticed I do a laugh now that sounds exactly like Sister Lloyd's and I'm quite proud of it. Never changing that one!

--Visited another elderly lady who reminds me EXACTLY of my Grandma Montgomery and I about lost it. It was like coming come: I stayed WAY too long in her apartment as she told me stories that felt like I was just talking to grandma. It made me SO happy. I was like dancing when I left.

--I went to Ward Council yesterday and was COMPLETELY floored about how amazing this church runs. PEOPLE ARE SO IMPERFECT. Like SO imperfect.....and this church still runs with absolute perfection. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? Oh, because the Lord is at the head. The Stake President completely drilled us all and by the end of his talk I was sobbing at how strongly I knew that fact. I am imperfect, and people still find truth. Leaders are imperfect, and the Lord still makes up for their mistakes so the congregation isn't lead astray. I have the strongest testimony right now that THIS CHURCH WAS DESIGNED TO HELP FAMILIES BE ETERNAL. That is it. That is the reason. Everything we do in the church is to make us better moms, and dads, and stronger connected. It's amazing. I love my family so much and I'm glad I get to be with them for ETERNITY. Hence the reason I was lovin' them so much this week. Nothing, and I repeat, NOTHING should get in the way of helping your family make it to eternity. That is everything in this life. Parental mistakes will be compensated for as long as they are willing to get there together. The Lord really gets how to run this world, let me tell ya.

--Which brings me to my next point, PRAYER CHANGES EVERYTHING. Sister Monroe and I needed some revelation for this area this week and we turned to prayer. Nothing immediate has come, but I feel as though Heavenly Father is SO proud of me for doing so. He has really been my Best Friend this week because I tried over and over again to seek Him and understand things the way He would want me to. I can't describe it, I'm just happy. Happy He knows me, and SSSSOOOOOOOO happy I know Him. PRAY. PRAY AGAIN. IT'S SO GREAT! (Pray about it, right Alicia? (: Love you!)

--I am working on charity and humility this week. They are my weak points...but because I have concentrated so hard on catching myself so I COULD have my first reaction to be humility and love, it has become a strength of mine. As my sister would say: Holy. Crap. Ether 12:27: it's a real thing. Pray for me! I need all the help I can get!!!

--We had a really spiritual zone training meeting this week and I have been obsessed with my zone leaders ever since.

--My companion and I are really trying to work together and it's really cool. Sister Monroe is so cool and it seems like we both develop more faith each day as we learn from each other and from the Lord. The learning is still sometimes just one step at a time, and I miss the fast-paced learning of my first 12 weeks, but I love it.

FREAKING LOVE MY MISSION. And you. Hope all is well in Park City and since I just gushed everything, PLEASE WRITE AND KEEP ME UPDATED. I love you, Kels..... :) and family.

-clo clo

Monday, January 6, 2014

Transferred to Cedar Falls, IA

Dearest family, 

Remember that one time we went to that lake for Youth Conference and we jumped in the glacier run-off and it was so cold that it froze your lungs? This is warmer than that..........I am currently in Cedar Falls, IA. Temperature outside is -53 degrees, with windchill. Most of the mission been house-grounded for 24 hours, even though it does not feel THAT cold outside. I keep thinking of Avery Hill on a mission in Russia and I feel like a WHIMP!!!!!!!! The Peers and the Barbers tried to warm me it would be cold.....but I never anticipated it being too cold to work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's really strange to be indoors. I feel ansty to be outside talking to people!!!!!!!! Luckily we have a car to get to the library!!!!

It has been a most roller coaster week. I was totally disappointed to get the call that I would leave Iowa City, where all I have known in my mission has been. As I was packing, I kept thinking about how much I LOVED everything here. I love the city, the ward, the people, the other missionaries, just the SET UP of missionary work in that place. We always had teaching appointments. We had 4 new investigators this transfer, two of which we found DURING transfer calls. It was so sad to come out of that lesson, TOTALLY in love with this new couple, ready to set a baptism date with one of my other investigators who i ADORED, to be leaving........I thought about how many memories I had with Lloyd and Murphy there and how I had to leave all that. I felt like I was leaving my closest friends and family all over again. 

The words of my trainer kept ringing in my mind and I said SO MANY prayers of gratitude. I kept thanking Heavenly Father for how much I had been given, and promised Him I would give Him all of my strength in my new area.

Cedar Falls is a much smaller city. I am now companions with Sister Monroe and she is ADORABLE. We are the only sisters in the whole zone......pretty big change.

There was a morning I woke up and I was pretty upset about all the change. And over and over and over again, Sister Lloyd's advice would flash through my head. I learned to love the people of Cedar Falls this week. I remembered how much I love the work this week. I remembered how important it is to love my companion this week. I remembered how much I want the Lord to trust me, how much I want Him to guide me, and how much I YEARN for the blessings of His Atonement and an even stronger testimony of the scriptures. That day, we went to District Meeting and my District Leader had also been trained in Iowa City and he is SUPER spiritual and talked to me a little bit and it was SO nice to just talk to someone who knew what I was missing. I was so peaceful about the transition. I went to church on Sunday and remembered how much I truly love my mission.

 I LOVE MY LIFE. I love Sister Lloyd even more. I am continually using the things she taught me, especially her attitude toward missionary work. Things are different here, but it's all the same work. And the work is amazing. I just get to love a whole new set of people!!!!!!!!!!

 We have two recent converts here and one investigator named Julie (who is the convert's sister). She wants to get baptized but needs to stop smoking and I am learning about faith and miracles this week. SHE IS SO COOL! She wants this so bad.

 Staying in has been an answer to an unspoken prayer, actually. I have gotten time to do some studies that I needed to and I LOVE THE SCRIPTURES!!!!!!!!!! God is so merciful to me. He was literally my Best Friend this week. I am SSSOOOOOOOO happy!

Hope all is well at home.  LOVE YOU, FAMILIA!!!!!!

~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~

Sister Lloyd - fun in feet pajamas

Not an LDS sign but true!

Armor of God

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

IOWA CITY - Week 12, Week 14 mission

Three keys to life:

LOVE people

say prayers of GRATITUDE

live in a way that the Lord can TRUST YOU

The last week Sister Lloyd was here, she and Sister Murphy really made my heart believe these three things. I have loved this week really taking those to my head and using them everyday. Things make so much more sense this way, although I struggled with myself to constantly be ready to follow prompting of the Holy Ghost. It's amazing how much Heavenly Father guides this work. Yesterday, while listening to the conversion story of a man named Bill Carpenter, it hit me so hard how amazing it is that I am literally called to be a representative of Jesus Christ, to tell the world exactly what He would if He were here.
I therefore added a four key to life: the SPIRIT changes everything. Listening to it's promptings is the ONLY way to find pure joy.

I LOVE MY MISSION. It hit me over and over again this week how much I love being a part of this work. The more I learn about this work, the more I realize how much I don't know. We taught two less-actives and two new investigators and I must tell you that I am a VERY imperfect missionary....but as truths are spoken, the Spirit speaks, and that is how hearts are changed to believe and to act to become closer to God.

I found a new friend this week. Her name is Katy. She is half me, half my sister: she totally understands us, Lex. She requested a BoM via media referral for her fiance, who is a non-member. She grew up in the church, but had a rough last few years. As she opened up a bit and told us her story, she and I cried together. I had no idea what to say, except that I felt like I was here for a reason.  I told her that I  have personally been healed through the Atonement, because it's real is real. I want to see her like everyday. Murph has to restrain me....although there is not much she can do since I have driving privileges again this week (you get two weeks of driving as a new missionary). HAHAHAH FEAR ME, IOWA CITY!

I want so badly to watch her change. She has so much more waiting for her. She has so many blessings she can take part in. I know I've been called to be here for a reason.....I am just terrified that I won't be able to help her see it. I was so happy afterwards. I love talking about the Gospel!

Transfers are this week! Murph and I hope we are both staying! We like it here.

SSSOOOOOOO good to see your faces on Christmas. Felt like nothing had changed....and yet I know we all have. I hope Christmas was good. Running out of time. There is more in the snail mail I am sending.

LOVE YOU ALL! Have a happy new year!
~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~

Christmas chaos without Dad there to clean up the wrapping paper.

Three sister missionaries live with these darling 4 little girls!
Princess Power!
(Thank you to these wonderful people who house my daughter!)
"Its my Christmas present to me!" (new scriptures)
(Hurry - what movie? - Emperor's New Groove)