Monday, December 29, 2014

Of Mice and Missionaries

Hola familia y amigos!                                                                                              12/29/2014

This week was fun!

I got lots of letters, packages, and presents! Woohoo, Christmas! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I know I did because I got to Skype my family! Even though I got to talk to them a couple weeks ago, it was still nice. My family's so cute. :)

At the beginning of the week, Sister Peterson and I made a new friend at 2am. I woke up to something digging in our carpet. It sounded like it was coming from underneath Sister Peterson's bed. A mouse! We tried looking for it, but didn't see it anywhere. We thought maybe he was inside the wall or something. We couldn't get to him, but he still kept us up, as he kept digging into our carpet. After a few bangs on the wall, and a few silent prayers, he finally stopped and let us sleep.

I remember my parents reading me "Goodnight Moon" as a little kid, and I would point out the mouse on each page. Mice belong in books, not apartments.

For our morning exercises, I like to try to do a little bit of yoga. The other day, Sister Peterson asked me if I could show her a few moves. I was showing her how to do "the crane" and after a few seconds, I lost my balance, and BAM. Fell right on my face. I got a fat lip after a few minutes.
"How does it look?" I asked.
"It looks kind of pretty! You kind of remind me of Angelina Jolie." Hahaha!

We had Mission Conference this week. A Seventy, Elder Higham, was there, and talked all about how the Savior taught. It was all about how He is the perfect teacher, and we should teach just like Him. I think that's an excellent idea.
Mission Conference - Where's Sister Sommers?
This past Sunday, we had two investigators, Maria and Sandy, come to church for the first time! I think it helped that I told them I was giving a talk that Sunday, and that it would mean the world to me to see them there. My talk was all about being a light in this dark world. Maria and Sandy both loved it, and Maria even started crying! The best part is she knew it was the spirit telling her that everything she heard in sacrament meeting was true. The ward seemed to really enjoy it as well, and I think they're really starting to like me, which is a huge blessing.

I lost my scriptures this week. A missionary losing her scriptures?! What is this?! Luckily, I found them after a couple of days at our investigator, Desiree's house.

Our cupboard is filled with nothing but junk food because people don't think we get enough for the holidays or something. It's weird though because I'm pretty sure I've lost weight. It's okay though. I think I gained about 50 pounds at the MTC. Or maybe it was more like two.

This week marks my one month out! Holy macaroni!

It's New Year's this week! But that's not even possible because 2014 just happened! Hope you all have a fun New Year's...but not too much fun. We already have to call one of our investigator's up on New Year's eve, and remind her not to get drunk. Y'all have fun and stay safe!

Talk to you next year!
Sister Sommers

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas from Sister Sommers and Sister Peterson. 
The W--- Family of Emily's ward was kind enough to send us a Christmas photo of Sister Sommers and her companion. We were able to have a Facetime session with Emily earlier today and also "met" her companion. They seem to be a great team. They've been baking cookies for many of the people they meet with. I am very grateful for the families that care for and love our missionaries while they are out serving and allow them to use their phones/computers to call home. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

He is the Gift – Christmas Video – #ShareTheGift

Let it Gooo!

Dear Family and Friends,                                                                                          12/22/2014

First of all, I received so many letters and packages these past few weeks, so thank you so much, everyone! I feel truly blessed.

Sorry I was not able to email last week. We left for the field on P-day. So yes, I'm finally here in California! Woohoo! I'm in the La Quinta area, and everyone is so nice here! There are a lot of Latinos here, and Latinos seem to be especially nice. Also, the weather is amazing! I laugh though, because I see everyone bundled up in their coats, and I'm like, "Forget that! I'm not in Ohio anymore."

I really love my trainer! She's so cute. :) Her name is Sister K--- P---, and she is perfect for me! She is very obedient, and always on top of things. I definitely learn a lot from her. We have a lot in common, but she's a lot more athletic than I am, and she doesn't like chocolate. So whenever people give us chocolate, I get double the amount. Pretty sure I'm gonna be sick of chocolate after this...(Ha! That was a lie).

So far, we have about six solid investigators, and two of them have already committed to baptism; S--- and D---! Woohoo! One day, her sweet 6-year-old daughter was asking D--- for a pencil so she could do her homework, but they didn't have any. That's when I thought of the brand new package of pencils Mom had just sent me the day before. I reached into my bag and gave them to her. D--- started bawling, and thanked me over and over again. Good thinking, Mom!

The first day in the field, Sister P--- and I made cookies and gave some to a bunch of our neighbors. One of them is now an investigator. Her name is M---, and she is the sweetest lady you will ever meet. I got to teach her the Restoration, and she invited us over for breakfast the next day!

Another one of our neighbors bought us some flowers because we gave him some cookies! He said when we brought him the cookies, it just opened up his heart. Aww, that's so cute! :)
Umm...I saw my first cockroach yesterday. Luckily it wasn't in our apartment. Sister P--- has already told me all of her scorpion, black widow, and tarantula stories. Yay...

I love our ward! Everyone is very friendly and I think the members think we're starving or something because they are ALWAYS feeding us! We have dinner at a member's house pretty much every night. I feel so spoiled out here!

My last week at the MTC, we were in a class where we were training for when we go out into the field. As our teacher was talking, he looked right at me, then stopped..."You look just like Anna from 'Frozen!' Stand up so everyone can see!'"

I slowly stood up, all embarrassed. I had two braids in my hair, and was wearing a purple cardigan. He also had my companion stand up. She was wearing all blue and had a side braid in her hair. ELSA!
...we didn't even plan it. That was also the only day it snowed...weird!

For the rest of the week, the whole MTC called us Sister Anna and Sister Elsa. Four different companionships even wanted pictures with us so thy could send it to their families, and say they met the real, live Elsa and Anna. We're MTC celebrities.

When we were exiting one of our classrooms, an Elder in front of me shut the door on me.
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!"
"Elder, love is an open door."
He and his companion got a good kick out of that. :)

Sister L--- and I were standing in the lunch line, and an Elder offered us some mint truffles.
(sniff, sniff) "What's that smell?"
"Chocolate!" Sister L--- and I said at the same time.
I guess you could say we're pretty clever on spot. ;)

We got to see Elder Christianson from "The District." He's so funny, and a pretty cool guy! We also got to hear from Elder Zwick, Sister Esplin (she spoke in last General Conference), and Lexi Walker! Lexi Walker is a 12-year-old singer who has sung with David Archuleta, she's been on Good Morning America, she's sung for Obama and Romney, and she's sung at Carnegie Hall! She was AMAZING!

I also ran into the Freeze's (the Anderson's grandparents), and Elder Nathan Sweet! He went to EFY with me. That was awesome.

Throughout my experiences at the MTC and out here in California, my testimony of listening to the spirit has grown tremendously! I've learned to first put all of my focus on the investigators, then just listen to the spirit, and the right words will come out. I have felt the spirit before, but not as strongly as I have felt it while here on my mission. What a great blessing that is!

I can't wait until Christmas! I get to skype my family!! Woohoo! :)

I love and miss all of you, and hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! And if you haven't seen it yet, or would like to see it again because it's so awesome, look up the video "He is the Gift." It's a beautiful two minute video that will fill your home with Christmas spirit.

Sister Emily Sommers

     Ward Polka Dots

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

MTC - Week 1

9 Dec 2014

Hello friends and family!

I am finally here at the MTC! It has been the craziest, busiest, most spiritual weeks of my life, and I am absolutely LOVING it here!! The teachers are great, the food is a lot better than I expected, and the weather here has been beautiful! It's the middle of December in Provo, Utah, and acts like it's spring time. No complaints here. I LOVE our district, I LOVE my roommates, and I LOVE my companion! Our district is so funny! We work really hard, but in our very little spare time, we tell stories, and are always laughing! My companion's name is Sister T--- L--- She's very quiet and soft-spoken, but we work as a great team. She's also super cute; she looks like Pepper Potts from Iron man!

On my way to Salt Lake City, I was able to share the gospel with this guy, J---. He works for BYU, but doesn't know much about our religion. He says he loves that we have Family Home Evening, and plans to do that when his kids get a little bit older. How cool is that!

Aunt Julie and Uncle Allan were kind enough to pick me up from the airport, and show me around Temple Square. It was so beautiful because the whole city was just covered in lights. We went and toured the Joseph Smith Memorial, and we were just walking around, looking at all of the paintings, when suddenly, Uncle Allan says, "Hey, President Uchtdorf, she's going to the MTC tomorrow!"

I looked up, and there standing right in front of me was President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I just looked at him with wide eyes, wondering the whole time if it was actually him.

"How wonderful!" he said smiling at me, as he shook my hand. "Where are you going?"

"Redlands, California," I responded, still thinking it was all just a dream.

His cute wife was with him too. After he let go of my hand, his wife came in for a big hug! Aww, what a cute couple they are.

Hey, I know you! (Elder Sweet from EFY)

Many of you may not know this, but I reported to the MTC on my sister, Sarah's 18th birthday. I didn't get to see her on her birthday, so HAPPY 18th BIRTHDAY, SA-RAH!!! :)

On the first morning we woke up, our alarm started going off.

"Good morning, sisters! It's time to get up!" Sister B--- said, while brushing her teeth.

"Ugh, what time is it? I feel like I just fell asleep."

It was 12 a.m. We always make fun of her now. Haha!

I got my letter and package!! WOOHOO! Thank you, Mom! A missionary's most favorite thing in the world...besides helping others come unto Christ.

I've been playing a lot of four square at the gym. It's like the best "sport" I'm good at. Boo, no ping-pong. Usually, I'm the only sister playing, but it's all good because the Elders think I'm super cool or something like that. Yesterday, I almost got hit in the face 6 times, but I didn't get hit because I had a bunch of Elders to save me, and because of my fast ninja-like reflexes, and because I'm a missionary. The Lord protects His missionaries.

We got to go to the temple this morning. When we got there, I couldn't find my temple recommend anywhere! I think they called Bishop Dahl though, so it was all good. After we got back to our room, I looked in my wallet for our key. I found the key...and my temple recommend. Whaaat?!?! I looked in there like five times! Oh well, I still got to go, and I had a much deeper appreciation for the temple, than the first time I went through. I love the temple!

I am just sooo happy to be out here! I'm working hard, learning so much, and making lots of friends. I miss you all and home so much, but right now, there is no place I'd rather be.

Love and miss you all,
Sister Emily Sommers

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Beginning

December 2, 2014

Emily left home to fulfill her dream of serving an 18 month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She will leave her family and friends for a time, to share with others, how they can live with their own families Forever. 

Her Aunt Julie picked her up at the airport in Salt Lake City and took her to tour Temple Square, which is beautifully decorated with lots of lights. While there, she met President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. She was so shocked that she was temporarily speechless. Sister Uchtdorf had to laugh and give her a hug. I'm guessing he has that effect on a lot of people. Emily said he was "large in stature" and even more beautiful in person. It was a brief visit as he had two bodyguards escorting him out.

At 1:30 p.m. on December 3, 2014 (Sarah's 18th birthday, Her best friend and sister), Emily entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC). Here, she will stay for two weeks learning the basics of being a missionary and sharing the Gospel.