Monday, June 30, 2014

Moline Week 2 - Mission Week 39

"HOLY CRAP" as dad would hate to hear me say: HALF WAY THROUGH!!!!! CRAZY!!!!!!

I hit my half way mark this week and it's been crazy to think that I am already half way: I feel like I JUST got done training and have NOT figured out a study pattern yet. And on the other hand, I feel so tired of people breaking my heart as they reject the Gospel and feel like I am getting comfortable in "my style" of teaching. It's this huge back and forth between not being too hard on myself and knowing that there is more to do. I want the Spirit to just take over!!!!!!

That sounds a little heavy, but honestly I have been lighter this week than I have been in months. This area has SO much potential. Sister Batty and I are just diving in and we have set 1 baptism date and found 4 new investigators in the 10 and a half days I have been here. Which is NO work of my own. This area is just on fire. We do "zone texts" here where we text the zone leaders every time we set a date or invite to baptism and then they forward it to the whole zone. Our phone EXPLODES like every day! It's crazy.

The Spirit is everything!

Love you!

Sister Batty got a hump day shirt too and a baby camel. hahahaha 

We also got ice cream with another elder in our ward who came out with us. So fun to celebrate together!

Look what I got!

Same Corn field one week later!!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Moline Week 1 - Week 38 mission

It is Chloe's half way mark on Wednesday…  Please write her in her new area if you can this week.  Thanks - Chloe's mom

1313 33rd Ave Cirlce

Silvis, IL 61282

Hello from Moline, Illinois!  June 23, 2014

I have no idea why Heavenly Father is so merciful but He is! I got the call late Monday night that I was leaving. I was pretty sure I was leaving, since that is the usual for missionaries who have been in an area for 4 transfers, but there was a thought that I could be staying, so I waited until I knew for sure before I said my goodbyes.

All of Tuesday was just running around to lessons a few people, but I saved all the hardest for last. Wednesday day I packed and said goodbye to my district. Wednesday evening was AMAZING.

We had a mini-lesson with our investigator named Na--- who is an absolutely brilliant atheist that we made friends with because he works at the library. I think he really is learning from us, even though he has a lot of doubts. It was cool to just sit there and just think how cool it was that I know him. Missionaries meet the coolest people/

Then was Sum---. (I think I told you about her. She is my all-time favorite person in Cedar Falls. I love her SO much.) I hadn't told her I was leaving because I wanted one last "untouched" lesson before I broke the news. I asked Sister Farnsworth before I went in if I could kind of just take this lesson by myself. We had a really good conversation with Summer and her 8 year old Jaden about the importance of baptism. They are learning, but not really excepting, but this talk was a good one about how I knew with all my heart that this was God's church on the earth. Maya (the 6 year old) was pretty quiet, so I was able to just teach the way I knew how. To--- (her husband) was there too and listening which was a miracle in itself. I broke the news and Summer and Jaden and I just cried together. She told me that I had helped her increase her faith in the Savior and that she felt like we were supposed to me. I ended with a prayer and the Spirit was really strong. It was the sweetest goodbye I could have asked for. It wasn't really painful: it was beautiful. We told each other we would be friends and Skype and email and joked that in 9 months I would come and move into her basement. My first night in Moline, I laid awake for about 10 minutes longer than usual with Jaden's tear-streaked face in my mind. I love them so much!!!!!!

Then was Ha--- and the Wright family and the Larson family. (Ha--- is the girl that is my age who we found by miracle and helped her return to the church). Wrights and Larsons were my favorite families in the ward. We just sat and talked for like an hour and a half about nothing and just laughed and laughed. It was a sweet way to say goodbye to this place I have loved for 6 months. I know it will never be the same and I know I only baptized one person here my whole time, but I am so grateful for the time I spent there. I am so grateful for facebook so I can be friends with all of these people after the mission.

At transfer meeting, they called a town I had never heard of and said "Sister Batty will continue to serve here and she will get a new companion: Sister Sumsion." I gave a yelp that was not really appropriate for the chapel and Sister Batty and I ran to each other and hugged. We are SO excited to be back together and it's fun to tell everyone we already loved each other in the MTC and that we got to celebrate our "half way" point together. She is a very consecrated missionary and we are both excited to be back together.

I am happier than I have been in awhile. Last transfer was my hardest transfer so far and I just am so excited for the chance to "start over." The work is the same, but the change of environment is nice (and exciting).

Already taught a few lessons here and LOVE IT! I taught this one guy named Mi--- and it was cool: mostly I just listened and really tried to love him as he went off about his son for about an hour and then said he would come to church next sunday. I was excited.

I am so happy! Thanks for all your prayers, mom. You change the world through them: I know your faith was partially the contributor to my amazing transfer news. Thanks for all your love!

-Sister Sumsion
New Companion is the same companion she had at the MTC

Its way higher than the old slogan -
"Knee high by 4th of July"

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cedar Falls Week 23

June 9, 2014

This week, God was truly merciful.

He leads my past:
----- I took a class at BYU about African anthropology.
----- Last week I had a discussion with our district leader and he told us that he feels awful when he reads anti-LDS material and that the Spirit always points us to become better and see things clearer and point us to the true nature of the anti-literature is not from the Spirit. Also, on dad's email the other week talked about not even opening anti, not because we want to cut ourselves off from knowledge, but because we seek to understand things from the tools God has provided to us. 
----- Mom forwarded me that story about how that one missionary got into a heated discussion with someone and then kept tracting anyway. (and found a golden contact afterwards so he was happy he had kept tracting - Elder Butters)
----- Ben's email last week about not even napping because he wanted to just dedicate everything to the Lord.

He knows us perfectly:
So Thursday we have Zone Training Meeting which I think is my most favorite part of my mission. They are always SO spiritual and you leave just feeling like you can do anything the Lord needs you to do. We are trained by the Sister Training Leaders and our Zone Leaders. They are really really good missionaries: people with real experience in life. So we leave and go to try this guy we met the other day who said we could come back. We were excited. 
Long story short, he opened the door and was super friendly.....and then goes off about how we have been deceived and that if we listened to the Lord, we would not be Mormon and that we were going to hell and it was his job as a fellow Christian to warn us of the error of our ways. 
I thought I would break down in tears and doubt my testimony.
Instead, I walked away feeling the Spirit. I felt so sure that God knew me and loved me. I thought back to the most recent blessing I had received. I knew there was NO WAY ON EARTH that the Priesthood had not been restored to the earth. 
Farnsworth and I were a little shaken up, but we said a prayer and just kept working.

God leads our future:
We found three people that night that really needed us. One of them was a boy we stopped on the street. We taught him the restoration right there and he said he would be baptized.
Imagine if we had gone in for the night. 

The devil is real. But so is God. And God is way more powerful and merciful. He's spoken to me. He knows me.  I have probably a million and one questions for Him and I DO NOT understand why all these things happen, but I am so sure of the fact that this is His work. I am so glad we met that man at that time, right after Zone Training, or else I would have been shaken up. I thought of the story of Moses seeing God and then Satan. Ah! Church is so true! 

We had a mission fast this week to sanctify our hearts and to really have faith in this work of salvation. I am excited to see how it changes things. I am trying to just believe that all these people I love will come closer to their Savior through ordinances. HOPE IS BELIEVING THAT THE SAVIOR IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS. I know He watches out for these people and loves them and works with them even more than I am. I am so imperfect, pretty tired, super happy, and VERY grateful to have this chance to know my Father better. I know I will strive to do that throughout my whole life. I am so not good at it: and that's why I am glad I have time here still.

Sister Sumsion

p.s. I lost my USB port with all my pictures on it. I have been so upset about it that I haven't even prayed about it: but that is going to change! Will you pray for me to find it? More importantly: pray that Su--- will want to learn more! THANK YOU!

Gays: thank you so much for the package of homemade cookies! the note you wrote truly touched me. thank you for thinking of me!!!!

Grandpa and Grandma Gummy: MISS YOU! I look forward to helping you at the ranch NEXT summer!!!!

(Note from Mom - I got to meet Sis. Wilson - the mission leader in Chloe's Cedar Falls ward this week.  She was visiting in Utah for a few days - she is a gem - feeds the missionaries (all of them not just Chloe and her companion), does their laundry, lets them skype at her house,  and drove out their winter clothes with her!!!  Thank you Sister Katie Wilson!!! We love you!!!)