Monday, May 16, 2016

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

Hey friends and family!

First of all, Happy 22nd Anniversary to both of my awesome parents!

Also, Happy 21st Birthday to that awesome missionary they call Elder Trevar Dahl!

So here's what's going on.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I AM TOTALLY FREAKING OUT!!!!!!!!!


Both of my bags are packed and ready to go. I can't believe I'm going home tomorrow! It just doesn't even seem real. I feel like I should be a full-time missionary my whole life! I guess I only got 18 months to do it. This isn't even real life.

It's been the craziest week ever.

Tuesday, we got to play some ping-pong with the youth! That was a TON of fun! Man, I haven't played in forever!

Wednesday, we had our departing temple trip for all the missionaries that are going home. That was so cool. I think the coolest part was right as I was walking into the Celestial room, President and Sister Van Cott stood at the doorway waiting for me. I gave President a big smile, and he greeted me with the warmest smile and a firm handshake. His face showed unconditional love and pride for his missionaries. I'm pretty sure I got a glimpse of how my Father in Heaven sees me. I then turned to Sister Van Cott where she embraced me in her arms and whispered the words "I love you" into my ear. That was the best feeling in the world. It feels good to know that your mission president and his wife are proud and pleased in your missionary efforts and what you have become.

After the temple trip, we drove back to the mission office where we wrote letters to ourselves. I had to start by writing, "Dear Emily..." that was really weird. That doesn't even seem like my name anymore. We wrote about the goals we want to achieve when we're at home, and President is going to mail them to us in about 3-4 months.

After we wrote our letters, we got to have Cafe Rio for lunch. Yumm! After I cut into my burrito, I was like, "Aww man! I didn't want beans."
Two seconds, after I said that to myself, President, on the other side of the room asked, "Who did not order beans?"
"That's me!"
"...oh...I'm sorry, Sister Sommers, I just inhaled half of your burrito, but I can trade with you."
I have the best mission president. :)

After that, we just had a little training by the Van Cotts on how to survive in the real world. Then we could ask any questions we wanted. I was super grateful for that!

The evening I returned, the C---'s threw me a farewell party, and a lot of the Ward showed up! That was a blast! Ugh! I LOVE THE C---'S!!! They would seriously go to the very ends of the earth just to do about anything for us. We owe them the world!

Thursday, I had my departing interview. That was nice just to chat with President about my fears, my goals, what I'm going to miss, and what I'm excited about when I come home.

Thursday, I accidentally ate some peas. You think I would've learned by now. This time, my whole face blew up. That wasn't really a whole ton of fun.

So this is it, eh?

Well I just wanted to close with my testimony.

I will be forever grateful for being able to serve the Lord here in the California Redlands Mission. I have grown, and have learned a lot. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know it to be another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and I know that Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet, today. I'm grateful that we have prophets that lead and guide us in this world of shifting values. I'm grateful for the Plan of Slavation. I know that it's through His plan, that we can live with our families forever. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father.  I know that the Lord is
very mindful of us, no matter what circumstances we may be in, and I know that He hears and answers our prayers. I'm grateful for our Savior and His perfect example, and that He gave His life for me and the rest of the world so we could make it back to live with Him again. I know that Jesus is the Christ, and I know that He lives in the name of Jesus Chirst, Amen.

See you soon!

Sister Emily KaeLynn Sommers


Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Time is Far Spent, There is Little Remaining

Hello, dearest friends and family!

It's ok, just a couple more letters to read.


First of all, I want to congratulate, K---, one of my cute YSA's, on her mission call! :) WOOHOO! I'm so proud. Look out, Missouri St. Louis Mission, Sister R--- is comin' for ya!

Secondly, Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful women out there, especially my own Momma.  I know this hasn't been a very easy year for her, but look at what a gem she is! Thanks for being my superhero!

Because it was Mother's Day, I got to Skype my cute family! :) That's always a blessing when you get to see and talk to your family. I guess I'm kinda like an Elder because I got to Skype home four times! #blessed

Sister R---'s family is pretty cute too! Since one of my layovers is in Salt Lake, her parents are going to meet up with me and buy me lunch! They're precious.

Tuesday, I hit my very last month mark. No more mission birthdays for me. :/

Wednesday, we got this anonymous phone call from Arizona. When I answered the phone, it was kind of hard to hear because it sounded like a bunch of kids at some sort of party. "May I ask who this is?" I asked. "This is a bunch of random people talking to you. We found your number on a dollar bill, so we decided to call it."

Hahaha! That was pretty entertaining. We later found out that one of them was best friends with someone who was LDS. It sounded like he had taken the missionary discussions in the past and had several questions about what we do, so we're gonna try to refer him to the missionaries over there again.

Our Cruze has been causing us some troubles this week, like it won't accelerate like it should, and other issues, so the Vehicle Coordinators got permission to meet us outside of our area at 9 pm so we could get a Corolla. We didn't get back until 10 pm! That was a little weird considering we're technically supposed to be back in our apartment by 9:00 or 9:30 if we have a lesson with someone. But we got our beautiful Corolla back, so I'm happy about that.

It was so cute! A couple weeks ago, we rung the doorbell to a member's house and their little four-year-old bounced to the door to see who it was. He peaked through a little side window on the door and exclaimed, "Look, Mom! The cute ones are here!" :)

Another time, this week, another member was talking to two of her little granddaughters and said, "Now, if you're good and well behaved during church, I'll let you sit next to the sister missionaries." Both of the girls beamed, and their eyes lit up, and shouted, "YAAAAAAAAAY!" Man, I wish all people were as excited to be with the sisters as they were.

We have Family Home Evening every week at the C---'s house, and they were wondering if we would be able to watch the "Work and the Glory" trilogy. Normally, we wouldn't be able to because it's not produced by the church, but President said if we could get investigators there, we could watch them! We've already seen the first two, now we're just waiting to see the third one this week. I'm excited to see the third one since I've never seen it before!

Good day, to you all!

Sister Sommers

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Reporting from DHS

Hey everyone!

It's been an interesting week, but I don't have a ton of time, so it's gonna be another short one.

Saturday, we went to the Stake Center and we got to hang out with the youth. They do this thing every other year where they have all the youth go out and teach with the missionaries for an hour. Our other companion's name was Sarah. She's quiet but she was super cute!

Today, Sister C--- took us to the Living Desert (zoo)! That was a blast. Especially when I got to see the giraffes. :) Too bad gorillas don't live out in the desert.


Fun Fact: I just realized this week that President Miscin (President Van Cott's councilor) was called to be in the quorum of the seventy this last General Conference!

Another Fun Fact: we had Ward Conference a couple weeks ago and the Stake President spoke to us in Sacrament meeting. He told us he was 35 years old and had been inactive for 10 years before he became the Stake President! Repentance is real, everyone.

I forgot to mention that when we went to the temple last week, we were coming out of the sealing room when all of a sudden a familiar white-haired woman turned the corner to face me. "SISTER A---!" ...I whispered. I had forgotten she worked at the temple Tuesday evenings. It was so good to see her again. :)

Well, that's all folks! Have a wonderful week!

Sister Sommers


Monday, April 25, 2016

"How far do you think that plane is? Three weeks away."

Greetings, earthlings,

This has been one of the craziest weeks on the mission! For reals, though.

Monday, the C---'s took us to La Quinta to take us out to Mongolian Grill. Yumm! It was weird being back in my greenie area. I was so tempted to go see all of my people!


Tuesday, we were driving from our District Meeting in Palm Springs and then remembered to confirm our dinner appointment. I dialed the number and put it on speaker. We were both trying to figure out what she was saying and got distracted for two seconds, when I picked my head up to see we were going straight for the car in front of us. My companion slammed on the breaks, but it was too late. Oh, SNAP! We got out of the car to make sure the two ladies in front of us were ok. Thankfully, they were, and were very nice and understanding about it. Even the officer who stopped by was the nicest policeman I've ever met. Their car was a little scratched up...well, actually, you could see imprints of our Toyota sign and some of our license plate, so even if it was a hit-and-run, we would've easily been caught. And then our bumper was kind of coming off, so we had to trade our beautiful Corrolla for a Cruze. Oh well, I'm just grateful we have a car AND that everyone was ok. I'm pretty sure we got into that accident because Satan knew we were going to the temple that evening.

Yes! We got to go to The sealing! It was beautiful. IAs they entered the sealing room, they were both glowing and P--- was smiling from ear to ear the whole time. :) HOORAY FOR ETERNAL FAMILIES!!!

Right after the sealing, we met up with the hermanas to do my very last exchange. WHAT? What is this last exchange I'm talking about? I got to go to Spanish land again, so that was pretty fun. I still think it's sweet that the Spirit is still the same even if it's in a language you don't quite fully understand.

The night we came back from exchanges, I checked the mail...uh oh. Now, why did I have to go and do a thing like that?! As I imagine you probably have already guessed, I received my flight info as well as information on my departing temple trip and the night I spend at the mission home. This isn't even real life.

Alright everyone, keep your chins up this week, and throw your hands in the air like you just don't care. That's what I do.

Sister Sommers



Enduring to the End

Dearest Friends and Family,

First off, I just want to congratulate my mission trainer, K--- P---, and C--- B--- (another missionary I served with) on their engagement!!! :) Our little RM's are growing up! *Sniff, sniff

Wow, this week has been a LOT better than last week. Thank you for your prayers!

One of the married couples I'm the Ward is getting sealed for all time and eternity.  Another SUPER cool thing is...WE GET TO GO!!! :) Since I taught their lessons, President said I could go to their sealing! We weren't sure if Sister R--- would be able to go because there always needs to be a missionary in the area, but President gave her permission to go too! That NEVER happens. This will be my first sealing ever! I AM SO STOKED!!!

I was reading an article one morning about this young, single, LDS mom who wished she could have a priesthood holder in her home. One day, she was reading and receiving council by a general authority, Elder Christianson, on how to have more love in the home. At that moment, she realized she DID have the priesthood in her home, it was Elder Christianson. To all of the women who think they don't have the priesthood in their home, think again. Even though women don't hold the priesthood, if we listen and heed the council of the leaders of the church, we can very much receive those same priesthood blessings.

Usually, I will go the whole month of May without sugar and sweets, but I know I'm gonna want some desserts when I get home, so I just decided to do it April 15 - May 15. It's gonna be a long month. Good. I don't want this month to speed up...even though I know some people want it to be over as fast as it possibly can (cough, cough), Mom. ;)

So, I received a picture of my family, yesterday...WITH THE RAIL'S!!! AHHHHHH! The Rail's are the senior couple who I served with in the YSA Ward! They went to my home ward without even realizing it was my Ward! WHAT? Coincidence? I think NOT! I also found out that my sister was traveling through San Bernardino! What is this?! It was ME that was supposed to give them a mission tour. And here they go off and start without me. Sheesh! The nerve.

Keep on keepin' on!

Sister Emily KaeLynn Sommers


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Warning: this letter may contain...Dinosaurs!

Hello, my lovelies!

This week has been...well...it's been a week. So it's gonna be another short one. Sorry!

Funny how in General Conference, Elder Holland was talking about the "Dinosaurs" that may come into our lives after watching General Conference; meaning the trials we may have to face after experiencing something super spiritually uplifting! It's been kind of one of those weeks. We wouldn't know joy if we couldn't experience sorrow, I guess. I'm not really gonna talk about it here, but just know that we could really use your prayers right now. That would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


Okay, okay now for something awesome!

You know what's awesome? Homefront videos! You know what else is awesome? The fact that I am CONVINCED my parents just watched those over and over until they turned our family into one. I kid you not! Each video I watch (during our lunch break), I feel like I'm saying over and over, "That's totally my mom." or "That's exactly what my dad would do." Way to go, mom and dad! I have the best parents. (Sigh) I love our family.

Hope your week is like my email...short and sweet!

Sister Sommers


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ending in the Desert

Hello world! Good day to you!

Well, this was one of those weeks where you feel like nothing happened and everything happened.

First of all, I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED General Conference!!! I'm all like, "YEAH! LET'S GO CONQUER THE WORLD!" I am so sad it's over. :(  feel like I love them more each time I watch them. If you missed it, it's ok, you can repent later and watch it online! Or just wait until the next Ensign comes out. President Monson didn't speak for very long (probably because he knows his limits by now) but it almost looked like he could've had a little skip in his step. He looked a lot better than he did before. Our cute prophet. :)
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04?cid=HP_SU_3-4-2016_dPFD_fGC_xLIDyL1-B_&lang=eng

This morning, I started the "My Plan" program. It basically helps missionaries who are about to go home transition easier. It helps you set goals and makes you realize that mission life isn't necessarily over when you go home. You can still share the gospel with others, and you can apply just about anything you do as a missionary to real life. So that will be a part of my morning studies for my last six weeks out in the field.

We got a text from President Van Cott this morning, saying that we will be staying in Desert Hot Springs this next transfer! WOOHOO! :) I get to end in the desert.

So that was basically my week. Sorry for the short story. It's ok, you're probably all thinking, "Phew, I only have to read a little bit this time." ;)

Later Skaters,

Sister Sommers