Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween

Dear family and friends,

Happy Halloween (They don't celebrate Halloween here by the way)!! Another fantastic week in South Africa. I can't believe I'll be leaving Margate soon and how fast time is going. Wasn't I just emailing home yesterday? Actually... Baba K_____was baptized yesterday! The baptism went great and it is was so great to see him take this step forward. He is the last one in his family to become a member (his wife and 7 kids are all members). P______ was also confirmed a member yesterday! It's incredible to see the love I have developed for each of our investigators and for the members. When you really come to love the people, everything else falls into place. It's so hard to resist someone who sincerely giving love away to others. Love creates an enivornment of peace and people feel comfortable. People are so willing to open up when they feel genuine love.

We have been teaching this Sister named M___ E______ for about 2 months now. She is seriously the nicest lady I have ever met and she would be such a great relief society sister. Elder Jallah and I met her when we started helping her do some service in her back yard. She invited us in and let us share our message. She has very deep roots in the Anglican church. The other day we challenged her to baptism and helped her more clearly understand our purpose. She said it will be tough for her to leave her church but she is really going to pray and ponder about it. I know the Lord will answer her prayer if she prays sincerely.

Well we have a lot of driving to do this week and transfers are coming up in just a couple of weeks. I gave myself a haircut this past week which turned out pretty good, maybe I'll open a barber shop when I get home haha. Just kidding of course.

Love you all,
Elder Summers

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm Mormon - I know it, I live it, I love it!

Hello family and friends!!

I absolutely loved general conference this past weekend! If you watched Sister Dibb's talk then you'll understand my heading. I really enjoyed that talk by Sister Dibb. We watched the the Saturday and Priesthood sessions back to back to back on Saturday, basically it was 6 straight hours of being spiritually overloaded. I don't think I've ever felt more on a spiritual "high." I was so excited to have the chance to hear conference, I seriously felt like a little kid about to open birthday presents. Being a missionary just makes conference even better then usual! We watched all of the sessions in our small little chapel, I felt the spirit so strong while watching the talks in the chapel. I really loved both of President Uchtdorf's talks and I can't wait to get the ensign!

So besides conference we had another crazy week as usual. First off I had an allergic reaction to this pie I ate at a members home. It's called Rubarb pie and it had a bunch of stuff on it I've never even heard of before. Well something on it my body did not enjoy, pretty much my whole body turned red that night and it was really difficult to sleep. I just took some claritin and eventually it went away, I haven't had an allergic reaction to something in almost 10 years though so it kind of freaked me out. I'm all good though and there is always power in a priesthood blessing! Speaking of priesthood blessings, I had the opportunity to give a blessing to a sister in the branch who was going in to see a surgeon. She had been to this doctor twice before and they had found some serious problems so she was quite nervous to go in this third time. Well after receiving a blessing then visiting the surgeon, she told me yesterday that all the problems had according to the doctor mysteriously vanished. Anything is possible through our Heavenly Father, if it's His will and we exercise faith He can work miracles.

We have another baptism coming up this coming Sunday. Baba K______ is being baptized (Baba is a respectful term used for fathers here, similar to calling someone "sir" but if you don't use it then that's seen as being rude). His whole family have been members of the church for about 15 years but he has never wanted to join. He started meeting missionaries about a year ago but would never commit to baptism. When Elder Jallah and I started teaching him, we were finally able to get past the barriers and challenge him to be baptized. He has accepted and is very ready to be baptized! It's so great to see that this wonderful family when now have a Priesthood holder at the head of the home.

We also started meeting with these two guys named M_____ and L______ this past couple of weeks. M_____ is 20 and L______ is 19. They are brothers and they live together. The two of them are awesome and really fun guys to be around. We introduced to Book of Mormon to them in our last lesson and they were very accepting. L_______ (very funny kid) said "Wow it's a good thing you guys told us about this book, it sounds very important, we are so privileged!" I wish all investigators were like these 2 guys. I think they have potential to make a lot of progress and we're excited to keep teaching them.

F_____ (guy from Ghana) is also continuing to make a ton of progress. Elder Ngwenya in his 2 years on mission said he has never seen someone so prepared to receive the gospel. F______ is accepting of EVERYTHING and is going to be a powerful leader in the church someday. He says it makes total sense that there is still modern revelation and he loves reading everything about the church. He said he was shocked to see (when he was looking on the internet) how fast the church is growing and said "something special is happening here that the world isn't recognizing." This man was prepared by the Lord and it's by no coincidence we found him.

I love you all and wish you all the best!!

Elder Summers

P.S. it still is raining like crazy, I have never seen so much rain in my life

Monday, October 15, 2012


Hello family and friends!

First off I can now pray in zulu and bear my testimony in zulu so I can't wait to do that when I get home haha. Elder Ngwenya can speak 4 languages which is pretty impressive. He has been teaching me quite a bit of zulu, I'm really getting good at these click sounds. There are 3 different click sounds in zulu that you have to make and when I first got here I had never heard anything like it in my life but I'm slowly getting better.

Anyways, that's not what is important! P______ got baptized yesterday and it was an amazing experience. There is the scripture in D&C that says how great shall be your joy if you bring save one soul unto me. Well my joy was full yesterday when I saw her get baptized. Only 2 months ago we knocked on her door and handed her a pamphlet. It's incredible to see how she has gained a testimony and how the spirit has confirmed in her heart the divinity of the Book of Mormon. She is going to be a very strong member of the church and she has already started inviting friends and family to church. We also have a couple other baptisms coming up at the end of this month. Very excited for those as well.

Elder Ngwenya and I are getting along great. He is literally always happy and laughing, it makes mission a lot easier when your companion is awesome. He only has a couple of months left but he isn't trunky at all. We've continued to find success here in Margate and we're really moving the work along. I think the hardest part about leaving Margate will be the families here. I've developed such a close relationship with some of the families in this small but united branch. Serving a mission is not always easy, there are discouraging days but then I look back on the relationships I've developed and the love you have for these people and it makes it all worth serving the Lord!

When you truly have that change of heart that Alma speaks of, nothing else matters and you are willing to give it your all. Studying the Book of Mormon each and everyday truly will change your life. It's incredible what I am able to learn each and every morning during my personal study, I think that's one of my favorite parts of the day. It's my goal to read the entire missionary library along with the entire standard works. I'm getting there slowly but surely. Jesus the Christ is an amazing book, it's as if Elder Talmage was there witnessing the ministry of the Savior. If you haven't had a chance to read this book, I highly recommend it!


Elder Summers

P.S. It rains a lot here (and I mean a lot!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Companion

Hello family!

Wow I don't even know where to start this email! First off I didn't watch LDS General Conference this past weekend (not available live here) so I just heard about the mission age being dropped when I read my emails from home. That is unbelievable news and is so exciting to hear! Obviously the Lord needs more laborers in the vineyard at this time and it's just another sign that the House of Israel is being gathered. I have to imagine this is going to put A LOT more missionaries in the field. A lot of young ladies are going to be more willing to serve missions now that the age has been lowered. Incredible news, honestly I'm just trying to process this news at the moment. I won't be able to watch conference for a couple more weeks unfortunately but I'm looking forward to seeing all the talks! 

First off a little about my new companion! He is a very soft spoken and cheerful guy. He has been on mission for 21 months now but he isn't trunky at all. He came all the way from Swaziland on Tuesday which is the most Northern part of the mission. Now he is literally in the most southern part of the mission here in Margate. It's about a 10 hour drive from Margate to Swaziland. Elder Ngwenya (his name means crocodile by the way haha) also speaks Zulu which is awesome because it makes it a lot easier to get into doors when we do finding. We worked hard this past week and even found some great new investigators. Sunday was amazing yesterday and we had a lot of our investigators come to church. The Lord has blessed us with a lot of success here in Margate. P_______ is being baptized this coming Sunday and I'm very excited to see her baptized! She has progressed so quickly and it's amazing to see the difference the gospel has made in her life. We also have a couple more baptisms at the end of this month. The branch is really excited because they only have had 2 baptism in the past 2 years. 

On Monday it was sad to see Elder Jallah say good bye to everyone. It made me realize just how hard it is to leave people when you develop a relationship with them. I wasn't even the one leaving and it was making me sad! I have really come to love this branch so much and it's hard when you develop such strong relationships with members and investigators. It's going to be tough when I leave Margate but I'm excited to explore the rest of the mission. 

Love you all,

Elder Summers

P.S. Cougars way to beat those Aggies!! 

Monday, October 1, 2012


Hello everyone,

It's been an exciting last 24 hours to say the least. Last night was transfers and our Zone Leaders called us and told us the news. Obviously I'm still staying here in Margate but Elder Jallah was really expecting to stay another transfer here, unfortunately that's not going to happen. He is being transferred to Hill Crest which is in Durban. My new companion is Elder Mgwenya, he is from Zimbabwe. He is almost done with his mission, Margate will be his last area and he leaves in December. I'll go meet my new comp tomorrow in Durban. The fact that he will be ending his mission in December here in Margate means that I'm almost guaranteed to be leaving Margate after this next transfer in mid-November. I was really hoping to stay here for 6 months but unfortunately that's not going to happen! Apparently most missionaries here in Durban stay in their first area 6 months and it is rare that you only stay 4 1/2 months. 

I'm anxious to receive my new companion and have to take charge of Margate. It's kind of weird receiving a new comp since I was really getting used to being with Elder Jallah as my trainer. I'm not a huge fan of change but I'll just keep working hard and doing my best. I know Heavenly Father knows what is best and we meet everyone for a specific reason. Elder Jallah really is a great missionary and I really enjoyed having him as a trainer, we got along great. 

Not a lot of updates from this past week, it was kind of a tough week. Margate has its unique challenges but the Lord only requires our best. On Tuesday P_______ was interviewed and is ready for baptism!! She will be baptized on October 14th and she is really excited. It's amazing how the Lord has prepared her, it wasn't by coincidence that we tracted into her house. We also continued to meet with F_____, the one from Ghana who has an uncle in the church. He is progressing extremely fast! He has come to church all 3 Sunday's since we first met with him and he just wants to learn everything about the church! He wants to be baptized but not until he goes back to Ghana to visit family in December. I won't be able to see him baptized but it's so exciting to teach him and see him gain that testimony for himself. He has even started inviting his friends to meet with us and he has told all of his colleagues about the Book of Mormon. Apparently he brings his Book of Mormon to work and lots of his co-workers ask him about it, so awesome! 

On Tuesday when P______ was being interviewed I had to go to Toti for exchanges. While I was there we had the chance to meet with this Sister who has gone less active. She absolutely loves the missionaries and my heart ached to see that she was less active after talking with her. She has gone less active because of some people in the Ward who offended her pretty badly. It's so sad to hear that but at the same time it made me think about true conversion. I'm not here to judge her as a missionary but we must really gain that testimony for ourselves. If we know this is the restored church then it doesn't matter what people say to us. I hear people go less active because the church building is old or the people aren't nice or it isn't organized, what difference does that all make? The church is true but the people are not perfect. It really just hurts me to see people come to a knowledge of the truth and then turn away from it. We must build that firm foundation as it speaks of in Hel. 5:12 so that when the temptations and adversity comes we will be able to withstand it. 


Elder Summers