Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Living in Paradise

Happy 20
Hey family and friends!                                                  1/26/2015

This week was the best one yet!

First of all, it was my Momma's birthday! Happy Birthday, Mommy! Secondly, I had the greatest birthday weekend! I turned two decades old on Sunday. The big two-zero. Next week, I'll be two months old on my mission! Oh my golly! So let me tell you a little bit why it was so dang awesome! 

Thursday night, our zone leaders, Elder R--- and Elder B---, called and asked if we wanted to volunteer at the Humana Challenge golf tournament. Of course we said HECK YES! There's the golf tournament, really good and really expensive food, and a winery. People pay BIG money to get in there because it's basically Disney World for adults. Our passes were just handed to us! The perks to serving in a wealthy area! The booth we volunteered at was Martha's Village and Kitchen, one of the largest homeless shelters in California. We would ask people questions about it, and if they got it right, (we gave them big hints) they got to spin the wheel and win a coupon. The whole time we were there, it did not feel like we were on missions. We felt so out of place with all these rich people, but we still had a blast! We got to be there two days in a row! Our booth was right next to a boxing booth, which Lee Espinoza was running! Lee is a celebrity boxing coach, who trains other celebrity boxers! He talked to us pretty much the whole time we were there, and he is the nicest guy in the world! Bill Clinton was also there, but Lee is so much cooler.
Martha's Village and Kitchen at Humana Challenge Golf Tournament

We got to meet and talk to a lot of people at the event, so lots of people knew who we were. Sometimes, we would take breaks and get something to eat, and all we would hear was, "Hey Sisters!" or "It's the sister missionaries! Here's some free food!" We got more attention than Bill Clinton! Don't worry, we're going to baptize him next. 


As we were volunteering, a man came up to me and asked if there was a card he could have. "Sure! Here you go!"
"Great, thanks! Can I find your number on it?" he asked, pointing at me.
Sorry sir, it's not as cute when you're twice my age.
The best part was when he turned around to look at S---.
"Oh, sorry. You're too young for me."
She's only about two months younger than I am.

Sunday, we had Stake Conference! It was one of the best Stake Conference's I've ever attended. Before the General Session, we had a meeting for our investigators, recent converts, and returning members. It was awesome because we got to meet and hear from one of our general authorities, Elder Auna, who came to visit us from Hawaii. He's a member of the church, he's a general authority, and he's from a Hawaii, so I'm sure you could imagine how much of a happy and spiritual man he is. The spirit was so strong throughout both meetings, and I just cried my eyes out the whole time. What made it even greater was we got two returning members to come, G--- and B---; and one recent convert, J--- (B---'s wife).
Happy Birthday, Sister Sommers!!!

Later that day, we celebrated my birthday at the Walker's house! I love them! They're like my La Quinta mission parents. They surprised me with a birthday sign, a gift card, and an ice cream cake! I also got a gift card and a stuffed bear from an investigator, D---, and then G--- got me a new purse and a scarf! Not to mention, my awesome companion also made me a sign and made me waffles for breakfast! Oh my word! So much stuff! People are way too generous! 

As I've been on my mission, serving others is just so natural. I'm still working on it, but I've also learned to act outward. When we act inward, it becomes all about us. It's not that at all, it is all about the Savior. So forget yourself, and go help someone out!

Hope you're all doing well! I still love letters, so tell me how your lives are going!
Miss and love you all!

Sister Sommers

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It's a Jungle Out There!!!

Hello again, family and friends!                                                                                   1/19/2015
Sushi, it's better than Salmon

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so that is why I am writing today.

Mark your calendars for the 22nd because it's my fabulous momma's birthday! And of course you already know mine is this Sunday. It's a great excuse for our investigators to come to church. :) I will be celebrating at Stake Conference! Whoohoo!

So, I already knew our area was awesome, but then I found out that so many celebrities live here! I was talking about it with a girl from our ward, and she said she once saw George Lopez in the grocery store like it was no biggie. I guess Tiger Woods also golfs over here. AND we were talking to a guy a couple weeks ago who was walking his dogs, and he said there was a red carpet event happening with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in Palm Springs! Palm springs is just twenty minutes away...away from our area. Dang Nabbit!

I went on exchanges with Sister J---! She's a great missionary, and we had a lot of fun! So that was pretty cool, considering that I just found out that our moms chat on Facebook.

Sister Sommers and Sister Jepperson
So far, we have seven investigators, but only two of them are pretty solid. Our two solids are S--- and D---. S--- is an older lady who has been keeping all of her commitments, and is always reading The Book of Mormon! I tried committing her to baptism last week, but she says she wants to learn more before she makes a decision. We just picked up D--- last week. She's nineteen, and we're getting her involved in family history work.

I'm getting better at this whole running thing. I run a little bit further everyday! I never thought I'd see the day when I would get up at 6:30 a.m. to go for a run.

We were in our apartment, doing weekly planning, when two guys our age showed up at our door. They were just trying to collect items they could send to people in the military. One of them shook my hand and practically bowed like I was the queen of England, and the other told me I was the most beautiful creature in the whole apartment complex. Hahaha! Oh my word. 

We went trashing the other day, and Sister P--- went to go pick up a wrapper underneath a plant and the plant stabbed her with one of its one inch needles. Some of the needle got stuck in her arm, and her arm started swelling up. Good times. She's all better now.

Nails by Natalie
We went over to the Stake President's house for dinner, and I got to hold their son's bearded dragon, Timmy. He reminded me so much of our bearded dragon! Unfortunately, Timmy was not yet potty trained...Oops! 

Joke of the day: what do you call an alligator in a vest?

Answer: an investigator! :)

Well, that's all, folks! Hope you all have a fantabulous week! And write me! I'll be here for a year and a half.

Sister Sommers 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I Love to See the Temple

Hey there family and friends!                                                                                          1/12/2015

What an eventful week it's been! So eventful, I'm not even sure where to start.

Early Birthday
I guess I'll start with...mark your calendars for the 25th cuz it's my birthday! Yay birthdays! Age is top secret though.

I went to my first zone meeting last week. We set goals for 2015, and talked about how to get more investigators and baptize more people this year. I guess it was a very effective meeting because we've been doing awesome at asking for referrals! We used to be horrible at that. Because we've been asking 100% referrals, the Lord has blessed us with more referrals than we can even keep track of.

We got to go to the Redlands Temple last week! Woohoo! I love the temple! :) When I entered the Celestial room, I started praying for blessings that I needed as a missionary. One of the things was to have a closer relationship with our bishop. Bishop J--- is awesome, but he's super busy all the time, so it's kind of hard to work with him. After I ended my prayer, I heard something. No, like I literally heard something! I looked behind me, but there was nothing there. I had heard stories about things like this, but I never actually thought it would happen to me! Unfortunately, what I was actually hearing was some Hispanic ladies talking on the other side of the room. The ceiling is in the form of a dome, so everything that they were saying sounded like they were talking in a microphone. Aww, dangit! That's okay, though. It was still awesome going through the temple. AND on the way home, Sister P--- started waving at the car driving beside us. It was bishop. The Lord really does answer prayers!

Also on our way home from the temple, we decided to go to Chipotle. We got our food, said a quick prayer over it, and started eating. Then, on her way out the door, this lady stopped by at our table and sweetly said, "It's nice to see young folks like yourself pray over your food."
And then she left. WAIT NO COME BACK! Aww, we missed her! But what a cute lady!

We had exchanges this week. I was blessed to be with Sister S---! She was one of my roommates at the MTC. :) But that day, was not her day at all. Before 1:30pm, she had already broken a glass plate, broke the handle off her bag, and spilled water all over the car. She's a trooper though; she just laughed it off. I just love her!

Also on exchanges, I met this investigator, J---. J--- is a pilot, and he has so many awesome plane stories to tell. I think he and Pres. Uchtdorf would get along pretty well. His recent story was that he was researching all of these plane crashes, and decided he was going to try to find one of them that crashed somewhere in Texas. After days of searching, he and his fiance, C--- found this plane which crashed in 1933 that would transport letters. This 1930 mail plane is now in his front yard, secured by a wooden box. He is planning to restore it this year!

While we were on exchanges, poor Sister P--- got food poisoning from the salmon we had that night. Yuck, I don't even like salmon, but I've had it twice on my mission. I don't think it would be as bad if they just took the fish skin off! Ugh, it freaks me out! What a blessing it is to have worthy priesthood next door. She felt a lot better after she got a blessing.

Last Thursday, we must have been doing something right because from the time we left our apartment to when we got to the Palm Desert church, we hit 18 green lights! We didn't even stop once the whole way!

One of our investigator's sons informed me he wanted to be just like me and go on a mission. He's seven-years-old and thinks I'm an agent from Mission Impossible. I am okay with this!

We finally got our Christmas tree out of the house. I kind of liked it though, it reminded me of home. Plus, it was the very first real Christmas tree I've ever had! That was exciting for me.

People are so funny when they feed us. They always seem to have mixed vegetables on the table, so I always have to ask if there are peas inside because I'm allergic. Every time it's, "Oh, you're allergic to peas? Good thing I didn't put any in there because I was thinking about it."

It's kind of weird being the minority here in southern California. I feel like one of the marshmallows in a huge cup of hot chocolate. That's okay, hot chocolate is more nice and open than the rich and annoying marshmallows.
La Quinta sunset
Even though we live in the Desert, La Quinta is one of the most gorgeous places to be! The horizons and sunsets are breathtaking, there are palm trees everywhere, the grass is so unimaginatively green, and there are flowers everywhere! Also, it rained yesterday! Southern California could definitely use some of that.

This week, my testimony on the priesthood has drastically increased. I am so grateful for the priesthood we have here on the earth! Without it, the gospel of Jesus Christ would not have been restored.

Hope all is well with all of you beautiful people! You're in my thoughts and prayers! Have a blessed week.

Sister Sommers

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

1 Month Old!

Hey Family & Friends!                                                                                   1/05/2015

Holy heck, this week has just flown right by! Kind of weird knowing that they're just going to be even faster!

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!! Hooray for 2015! It's gonna be an awesome year. I can feel it!

Sister P--- and I made a New Year's resolution that we're gonna cut back on the sweets, so we've been telling the members who are feeding us to not worry about dessert...but they do it anyways, dangit! I guess it's okay since we've been running every morning. Well...she runs, I just run until I feel like I'm gonna die from a heart attack, and just walk the rest of the way.

1 month out
We celebrated my 1 month mark on Saturday! Woohoo! Sister P--- surprised me that morning by making me breakfast! :) Aww, she's so cute! #bestcompanion - I also celebrated with a Dr. Pepper Icee. Yum!

Sister P--- was called to be a sister trainer leader, so while she was in a meeting this week, I went on exchanges with two other sisters in Banning. Kiiiiiind of a sketchy place. It's the ghetto, so we had to be extra cautious. We stopped by an investigator's apartment, and outside of the apartment were a bunch of guys our age just hanging out. As we passed them, one of them looked me up and down and was like, "DAAAANG! You is CUTE!"
"Thanks. Come any closer and I'll go all Ammon-from-the-Book-of-Mormon on you." (He chops off arms.)
Okay, I didn't really say that. I just ignored him and tried to get inside as fast as I could.

Sister P---'s mom sent her some coffee candy. It's candy that really tastes like coffee, but there's no coffee in it! #mindblown - I feel so rebellious eating it.

I was also informed that Sister P--- personally knows Julianne Hough! Like, she actually hangs out with her! Their dad's work together, so they go out to eat, and go to the movies together! Is that not the coolest thing ever?! Sooo jealous! 

Being on a mission really is an adventure! So far, we've been attacked by several sprinklers. We'll walk right past, and I guess they think we're thirsty because we live in the dessert, so they give us all their water. Thanks, but no thanks. Also, a lot of our investigators/ less active members live in gated communities, so sometimes we'll have to wait for a car to go in before us because we don't know the password. One time, we decided to walk to a gated community, and a car had just gone through. So we RAN and tried to get past the gate as it was slowly shutting. I felt like I was on "The Maze Runner." 

Snow in Cali w/ Becky R
I heard there is no snow in Ohio. Well guess what. It snowed in California this week. WHUUUT?! It was just a little, but still...! Dad, you can come to Cali and use your new sled. There are several mountains covered with it!

Ants have pretty much taken over my bathroom. It's disgusting. I find myself squishing at least 20 of them everyday. Good thing it's P-Day, I'm gonna buy some ant traps.

Every Wednesday we do service at the library for a couple hours. I think mom could appreciate that. So far, we've just been moving books around and organizing closets. That's always fun!

One thing that I've learned this week is to teach simply. When you know a lot about something, it's pretty hard to teach in simple ways. Although, that is how Christ taught the people when He was here on the earth, so we should teach just like Him. I'm getting better at that.

Well, that's me! Hope you all have an adventurous week! Miss and love you all!

Sister Emily KaeLynn Sommers