Monday, September 28, 2015

It's Time to Celebrate!

Because Dad has always wanted to use my hair as a paintbrush.
Hello, earthlings!

It has been quite the week of celebrations!

Fall has finally arrived. But not really because DHS doesn't know what that looks or feels like yet. It's been pretty hot out all week. I think I'm especially going to miss Ohio this time around. My favorite part was seeing all the leaves turn into their bright, vibrant colors, then crunching the brown ones on the ground.

Because it's GETTING cooler, the S---'s came back home! Yay! Now we get to bug them by sharing stories about our day.

As many of you may already know, our beloved apostle, Elder Richard G. Scott passed away Tuesday morning. Thank you for the many years that you dedicated your life to serve the Lord.

That is so crazy. Three apostles have passed on within four months! It will be weird not seeing them this weekend in General Conference. But I'm also very excited to be getting three new apostles! So all of you need to watch General Conference this weekend! It's so awesome when we get to hear the counsel that our apostles and prophet have prepared for us. Questions are answered and miracles happen. General Conference isn't just for the members, it's for the whole world to see, so I invite all of you to watch it. Everyone, invite your friends!
General Conference

The Women's Conference was also super good! I think that's been my favorite one, so far. So if you haven't seen it yet, you can look it up online. I think it should be up by the end of this week.
Women's Conference

Wednesday was the 20th anniversary for The Family: A Proclamation to the World. I know that our last prophet, President Gordon B. Hinkley, was very inspired by our Heavenly Father to write it. I feel it may be a little scary to raise a family in this day and age, but this proclamation gives me a lot of hope. It tells me what I need to do to
raise a happy and successful family.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World

We experienced an awesome miracle this week. A couple weeks ago, Sister W--- remembered she still needed to pay her fast offering, so she did just that. The next day, we did our grocery shopping, and it didn't even hit Sister W--- until we got home that she was double-charged for everything! It was too late, the receipt had
already been lost. Last Monday, she only had enough money to buy a couple of things. I insisted she get more things she needed, and I could just pay for the rest, but she resisted to let me buy anything for her. She hoped and prayed she would be able to just get through the week. Thursday evening, we got a text from a sister saying she had a couple of loaves of bread for us. That was so sweet of her, but Sister W--- can't have gluten because she has celiac disease, but I can, so we just went over anyways. When we got there, she had the bread all prepared for us....along with two big bags of groceries! Our eyes widened, our jaws dropped, and my sweet companion sobbed. The blessings of fast offerings are real.

And now, a couple of songs for Desert Hot Springs:
Happy Birthday, DHS!

You've had a birthday, shout hooray,
We want to sing to you today!
One year older and wiser too,
Happy birthday to you!

Happy, happy birthday,
From all of us to you!
We wish it was our birthday,
So we can party too!

That's, right! It was DHS's birthday Saturday. Everyone celebrated with a parade of booths, including the elders and us. Well, we didn't exactly have a booth, we just made a bunch of sweet-looking signs and drew out the Plan of Salvation. We almost got kicked out because I guess we were supposed to get permission first....whoops. But we were all set up, so they just let us stay anyway. It was great advertising, and a great way to get hit on by super old, ancient men...gross. :/ Good thing the elders were there to distract 'em.

That's it! Have a fun week, everybody!

Sista Emi-Kae-Som

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Our Burdens Can Be Made Light

Rain? Could it be?

Hey Folks! It's that sister missionary again, writing about how her week went!

Okay, so here we go. Wednesday, we had another Mission Conference! We talked a lot about The Book of Mormon and how we can use it more effectively in our teaching. It was really good, but the only thing was we were there for ten hours! Most of the time it's only six hours, but those times they weren't putting TIWI boxes in our cars. Yep, it's finally happened. The talking boxes that yell at you if you're driving too fast or too aggressive have been installed in our cars. Okay, it doesn't yell at you, but there have been a couple of times where we jumped because it's kind of loud and gives you no notice that it's about to tell you how to drive. Before we drive anywhere, we have to swipe a card over the TIWI box in order to log in. The third day we had it, the card wasn't letting us log in, so every 30 seconds we had to hear, "no driver." At that point, I did not love technology as much as Kip from "Napoleon Dynamite." Five hours later, we finally got it to work. PHEW! We're learning how to love it.

Friday, we were over at our investigator, V---'s, house. Her friend, Susan Stafford, was staying over there this week. That name ring a bell to anyone? Anyone wanna buy a vowel? I guess she was an actress, and Vanna White took her place in "Wheel of Fortune". Pretty cool, eh?

Sunday was AWESOME! President Madsen, one of President Van Cott's counselors, is retiring from being a veterinarian and moving away with his wife. That's not the awesome part, that's actually really sad because we really love him. The awesome part was he spoke in our sacrament meeting as a farewell because he works here in DHS, and he invited a TON of his friends! There were about 50 non-members there who got to be in sacrament meeting and also witness two confirmations! You can really tell how much President Madsen is loved in this valley. He talked about his love for animals, the love for the people he worked with, and the love for the gospel. There was no denying that everyone in that room could feel the spirit. One of my favorite stories he was able to witness was that of a 9-year-old boy and his mom who went shopping for a puppy. When they found the litter, the boy spotted a puppy with a crooked leg.
"I want that one!" the boy exclaimed.
"Honey, that pup's leg is bent. He probably has lots of other problems. Why don't you choose one of the healthier ones?"
The boy then lifted his pant leg, uncovering the brace that held his own crooked leg.
"I want that puppy. That puppy understands me."

This boy and his new dog reminds me of the atonement. Sometimes we may go through things and think that nobody understands. But there is one, and that is our Savior, Jesus Christ. He knows you perfectly. He knows
you inside and out. He knows your name. He knows exactly what you've been through in this life because he has felt it. Rely on the Savior and His atonement and he can make you stronger. He may not take the burden away, but he can give us strength, so our burdens may be light.

Have a fabulous week!

Sister Sommers

I guess it does rain in Southern California.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sacrifice Brings Forth the Blessings of Heaven

Good day, mates!

My week all started with an awesome Zone Meeting. Since these elders are in our zone, we talked about the incident where our two brand new elders had everything stolen from them on their very first day. One of these elder's trainers was also stolen from. The guy took his hand-bag which had over a year's worth of mission photos. Their trainers felt like the worst trainers ever and started blaming themselves for the situation. One of the new elders just wanted to go home. None of us blamed him. Then, our ZL's talked about how the other new elder handled it. He said he wanted to go out, work, and teach as many people as they could find, to get his mind off the situation. The ZL's said they would try to go look for their stuff, but this elder who just wanted to work said this:

"All of my stuff isn't worth nearly as much as one man's salvation."

Let me just remind you that this is an 18-year-old kid, who just graduated from high school. How many of us would say the same thing?

It reminds me of the story in the scriptures of the rich man who had tried his best to keep the commandments, but when he asked the Savior what he was lacking, Christ said, “Yet lackest thou one thing. Sell all thou hast and distribute unto the poor…and come follow me.” But it was too much to ask, and he went away sorrowful, unwilling to do it.

How many of us would be willing to sacrifice everything we had to follow the Savior? This elder didn't give his things away, but I know if Christ had asked him to do it, he would.

Wednesday, we were walking to a member's house in a small trailer park, when a guy saw us and had a question. We were excited to answer his questions and give him a Book of Mormon until the guy behind us showed up.

"Excuse me ladies, but I don't know if you can read this sign, but it says, 'No Soliciting'" He said ever so rudely, with the nastiest look on his face. "So go back to where you came from, and I want to see you get into your car and drive away."

We didn't walk to our car, we just kept walking to the member's house. We weren't soliciting because we weren't selling anything. We weren't doing anything wrong. I still kinda wanted to cry, but I was glad we were able to give the guy we were originally talking to a Book of Mormon. It made me feel a lot better by the time we looped around the park to get our car because the guy we were talking to called out to us and said, "Hey ladies! Just ignore that guy, he's crazy! He's just jealous."
It made us both crack a smile and laugh. :)

That night, we were outside of our WML's house, and he said, "Hey Sister Sommers, come look over here." There were about five Black Widows hanging out in their webs, on the side of their driveway. This whole time in California, and I've never seen a Black Widow. I guess only because I've never tried searching for them. Sister W--- didn't wanna hang out with us. Haha!

Last week, we got a call from M---, a lady that we've been teaching, and she told us she was in the hospital. The doctors told her, according to her results, she wasn't going to live much longer. She agreed to a priesthood blessing, so we sent the elders over. We went over last night to check on her, and it turns out that she's been feeling much better, and should be coming home today! HOORAY FOR PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS!

About a month ago, some members brought their friend, R---, to church. The elders started teaching him, and he accepted the gospel right away. He was baptized last night! For a couple weeks now, R--- has also talked about going on a mission! He'll be able to go after he graduates high school this year. So the moral of this paragraph is MEMBERS, INVITE YOUR FRIENDS! Don't EVER be afraid of offending someone with the gospel. Learning the gospel would never hurt anyone; it would only bless their lives more fully, and let them experience true happiness. That's why I'm out here. But always remember, you don't have to wear a name tag to be a missionary.

Have a wonderful week!

Sister Sommers

Friday, September 11, 2015

Half Way There and Living on About 25 Prayers a Day

Hello World!

This week I turned 9-months-old! HALF-WAY MARK!!! WHOOP, WHOOP! I could've had a baby! Good thing I didn't, that would've just made my mission a whole ton of awkward.

Ugh, I can't believe my little brother is in High School! I'm glad he has some bomb-digitty teachers though! AND my little sister is going to be a college girl next week? Umm...I don't think that's right. And why the heck does she all of a sudden look like a supermodel?! Someone tell her to stop that, or she's gonna be married, with a kid by the time I get home.

Found out that one of the members, Brother C---, served in Ohio. One of the wards he served in was the Akron Ward! I asked him if he knew the T---'s, and he for sure did! The next time we go over there for dinner, he's gonna show me pictures from his mission to see if I recognize anyone else. That'll be super weird.

Lots of interesting things happened this week. First, we were at a member's house for dinner, and she was telling us about how her car was keyed that day. Then, Elder M--- called us Wednesday, asking us why we bought gas twice on the Sabbath. Someone totally stole the number off our card. How rude to break the fourth and eighth commandment. It's ok now, we got a new one. Next, our Ward Mission Leader, Brother C---, was telling us how he saved this 12-year-old from getting kidnapped. After that, we were talking to our friend, G--- and his dog named Friday, we see on our morning runs, and he said that a lady had just stolen his car. The police found his car after a few days of searching, but then found out it was totally destroyed on the inside. Lastly, a couple of brand new missionaries stopped by at the church for a little while, only to be informed by some guy who just called the police because someone had just stolen all of their luggage out of their car. Please keep these elders in your prayers. Sister W--- and I have been extra cautious about our surroundings. The bad part is the police force doesn't seem to be very on top of things. It's a good thing that the Spirit can warn us of things like that.

Well, that's about all! Have a great and safe week!

Sister Sommers

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Ohhh the Mission Life...


This week was pretty legit!

At the beginning of the week, Sister S--- took us to Palm Springs so we could go shopping at this sweet little shop with super cute clothes for under $10. As we were picking out our stuff, Sister S--- would offer to hold our things while we looked around some more, but when we turned back the items would no longer be in her hands. I looked at her all confused.
"I'm just putting them down," she said smiling.
When we decided we were done for the day, Sister W--- and I took out our wallets, getting ready to pay for our things. The cashier smiled at us and gestured towards Sister S--- who also had her wallet out. She paid for everything! We weren't going to let her, but we were too late. She is seriously the best! She's like our mom here in DHS because she feeds us every week, and just gives us everything. She spoils us rotten, but it makes her feel good to spoil us.

Thursday morning, our car wouldn't start. It's a good thing we were in front of a member's house who knows about cars. He was able to jump-start it, so we could drive to Jessup Chevrolet so they could replace the battery. NOOO! We just spent six-and-a-half hours there last week! It was really funny, when we walked in though. One of the workers smiled and said hi to us, but then he suddenly became extra nice, asking us all these questions.
"Where are you located?"
"We serve in DHS, but I'm originally from Utah, and she's from Ohio," Sister Wagner responded.
He looked really confused. Then all of us became confused.
"We're missionaries."
"Ohhhh! Hahaha, I thought you were both from corporate. They have very similar name tags."
Haha! Now we feel all super important and stuff walking into Jessup Chevrolet.

The members' house we were at, before our car blew up, was the G---'s home. We've been seeing them for a few weeks, giving them the lessons, but it was just this week that Sister G--- asked us where we were from. Turns out Sister G--- was born in Akron, Ohio, and would go fishing in Chippewa Lake all the time as a kid! Hooray for connections!

Friday, we had an awesome Mission Conference with Elder Robert C. Gay. The meeting was all about how we, as missionaries, are being converted to the gospel. It was all very inspiring and edifying, and answered some questions that had been on my mind. Before the conference started, we went to talk to Elder T--- because we had served with him in La Quinta. Turns out, he's still there! He introduced us to his new companion, Elder S---. Elder S--- looked at my name tag and said, "Ohhh! So you're Sister Sommers! I hear your name like a bajillion times! They really miss you over there. "I thought I was going to cry! That felt so good to hear.

So guess what! Our investigator, P---, got baptized yesterday! YIPPEE!!! :) She was so prepared! I love those prepared people! We really knew she was ready when she was telling us how much she loved reading The Book of Mormon, and how she could feel the Spirit testify to her that this was the church with the fullness of the gospel.

Transfer information was yesterday, and we found out that we're both staying in DHS! But then the elders called us this morning, and told us that they got some info mixed up, and that I was actually being transferred and had to leave by tonight! But then they said they were just messing with us. THOSE PUNK FACES!

I love our Ward Mission Leader and his wife, the C---'s! They told us we were their favorite sisters they had ever had. Of course, we thought that's what they say to all the missionaries, but they were serious.
"Now don't be gettin' a big head."
"Haha, too late, Brother C---." ;)

That is all. Love and miss you all!

Sister Emily KaeLynn Sommers