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


Saturday, April 2, 2016

He is Risen!

Heyyy friends and fam!

GO, GO, GO, GO, GO!!!

Absolutely no time to stop! Wow, I am so exhausted.

Hope everyone had a super Easter! I sure did. Thanks for the package, mom! Those Thin Mints won't stay in their box for very long.

Easter is so awesome on your mission! You get to teach and testify of the Savior and no one even gets mad because they're all in the Easter Spirit.


On Easter Sunday we celebrate the most long-awaited and glorious event in the history of the world.

It is the day that changed everything.
On that day, my life changed.
Your life changed.
The destiny of all God’s children changed.
On that blessed day, the Savior of mankind, who had taken upon Himself the chains of sin and death that held us captive, burst those chains and set us free. Because of the sacrifice of our beloved Redeemer, death has no sting, the grave has no victory, Satan has no lasting power, and we are “begotten … again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Truly, the Apostle Paul was correct when he said we can “comfort one another with these words.” - Dieter F. Uchtdorf: "The Gift of Grace"

We were at a lady's house, giving her a bible she had just ordered, and then let us come in. The TV was on, so I asked her what she was watching. She was watching "Passion of the Christ." I had heard so many things about how this movie did such a great job mirroring Christ's crucifixion. The movie kinda looked a little dark. I asked her if she could please turn it off, but instead, she just turned it down. Ugh...talk about distracting! Curiosity got the better of me, so occasionally, I would glance over at the screen. That last glance before stepping out the door was all it took. I soon came to the realization that I could probably live without seeing it. I never saw the scene of the crucifixion, and I didn't want to, but other parts are scarred in my memory. It's comforting to know that I don't have to watch something that graphic, and still be grateful for His sacrifice.

Many of you may have heard about the bombing in Brussels. Four LDS missionaries, three elders and one sister, were injured in the bombing. It is quite miraculous though because they were right next to it when it happened, and none of their injuries were life threatening. Truly, the Lord sends His angels to protect His servants.

I FOUND SOMEONE ELSE WHO IS ALLERGIC TO PEAS!!! IT'S A REAL THING!

A lot of the snowbirds flew home back to Canada this morning. Gee, I sure am going to miss them! We'll just have to go to Canada sometime. It works because most of them border Kalispell, Montana! Dad won't argue much about that. :)

Women's Conference was the bomb diggity! Now all I want to do is go out and serve...even though I'm already kind of doing that. I thought is was too short, it flew by so fast! Well, it's a good thing we have GENERAL CONFERENCE THIS WEEKEND! WOOHOO!!!
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04?lang=eng

GO LISTEN TO THE PROPHET!!!

Yesterday, when we were getting out of the car to go to our dinner, I reached down to grab my......oh no. Where's my bag? I looked in the back seat. No bag. I looked in the trunk. No bag. I finally said a quick prayer that wherever my bag was that it would be kept safe and that I would be able to find it. After dinner, we went straight back to the apartment. Still no bag. It's crazy though because even through all the searching and failing to find it, I felt total peace about it. I knew that everything was going to be ok. I knew that somehow I would get my purse back. That's something that I've realized over the course of my mission. When I lose something but feel peace about it, I know that I'm going to get it back. No freaking out needed! What a blessing. We searched outside and came around the front of our apartment to find a note placed in the front security door with my name on it. Someone had found my purse! I called the number they left on the note, and within a few minutes, a couple came to us with my bag. They told us they had found it in a grassy area an hour before. That was around the same time I had prayed. I then remembered leaving it in that spot because we were taking pictures. Silly me. Heavenly Father really takes care of His missionaries.

Transfers are coming up! Wait, what? But transfers JUST happened! HOLY MOLY, THIS IS MY LAST TRANSFER! WHAT? It's ok, Sister Sommers, just breathe.

Have a fantastic week, everyone!

Sister Sommers

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Isn't That the Truth?

Hola, amigos!

Happy Spring!

Busy, busy, busy! That is my life.

First of all, I just wanna give a big shoutout to my dad and little brother because their birthdays are this week! YAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY X 2!!!

My next shoutout goes to my momma. This week, she will have been a member for 23 years!

And last, but not least, a shoutout to one of the coolest YSA's around, J--- C---, because he just got his mission call to the Texas, Fort Worth Mission! WOOHOO!!! I am so proud. :')

AND I hope you all had a snazzy St. Patrick's Day! Corned beef and cabbage, that's the way I roll.


Wednesday, we went on exchanges and I got to go to Spanish land with Hermanas J--- and E---. I love them! It was pretty interesting though; even though I hardly even knew what words they were speaking because all I took was high school Spanish, I still knew what they were talking about. The gift of tongues is so real. What's even more real is the Spirit. The Spirit was exactly the same. Isn't that just amazing? Definitely a big testimony builder right there.

While on exchanges, the hermanas were telling me they had just been attacked by a German Shepard a week ago. Hermana B--- stuck a Book of Mormon in its mouth and ran to open the gate. The dog spit the book out, then got Hermana E---'s wrist and Hermana J---' leg. They later found out the dog had not received his shots and the owner didn't even seem that apologetic about it. Some people... Heavenly Father was really protecting them that day because all they had were just scrapes from the dog's teeth. I'm pretty sure that dog could have gone all the way through. There were definitely holes in that Book of Mormon.

Right after exchanges, we received a letter from the First Presidency saying that all the missionaries would be ALLOWED TO VOTE! WHAAAAT???? Heck, how am I supposed to do that when I don't even know who's running? It's funny though because it was just a couple weeks ago that President was reminding everyone not to get involved in politics. I guess the prophet thinks otherwise.

I am LOVING the new Easter initiative! We're coming up with some great ideas to get the Ward more involved. We're taking pictures of all the members with photos of the their ancestors and other old possessions along with a "#hallelujah" sign, and then having them post it online with their testimonies about the resurrection and family history work. It's pretty sweet! It really makes me want to do my family history. I invite all of you to do the same. I would love to see your photos and read your testimonies.


We were walking in one of the trailer parks, when we saw a lady and her mom looking at the flowers outside of their house. We introduced ourselves and asked if we could show them a two-minute video
(#hallelujah). Sitting in her walker, the mom looked at us, then spotted the Book of Mormon's we were holding.
"Umm...I'm not Mormon," she said getting up.
"It's not just for Mormons, it's for everyone."
"Everyone who's not Mormon, right?"
It was obvious she wanted nothing to do with us, but after a little persisting, she finally gave in. Both her and her daughter's eyes locked on my screen as the video played. By the end, both looked at us
with tear-filled eyes. The white haired woman sighed, "Isn't that the truth?"

So that video is amazing, but have you also seen this one? My word, the church is genius!

World's Largest Virtual Hallelujah Chorus
https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2016-03-3000-worlds-largest-virtual-hallelujah-chorus?lang=eng

Happy Easter next Sunday! I am so grateful for a Savior who willingly suffered for my pains and sins as well as the rest of the world, and that he gave His life for us. He did it because he wants us all to return home. And on the third day, he rose from the grave. That means we too will be resurrected. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have, that it is because of Him that we can live with our families for
eternity. I know that my redeemer lives.


And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. 

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. (Alma 7:11-12)

Have a wonderful, blessed week!

Sister Sommers

And This is Why I Was Taught to Never Talk to Strangers...Until Now

Hey ere'body!

Happy Daylight Savings... :/ Eh, not really. I really like my sleep. 

This week filled with all new adventures.

Wednesday, we went to Rite Aid to get some scissors and tape to help "heart attack" some members. As we were in line, a short man in his thirties looks at us and walks towards us.
"Do you remember me?" he asked while shaking my companion's hand. 
"Umm...no, sorry. You probably have us confused with someone else. But it's nice to meet you!"
"You're beautiful. Both of you are beautiful."
He takes his hand back, then goes to shake mine. He lets my hand go and goes to grab my companion's again. Only this time, he starts playing thumb-war with her. Umm...ok? After he lets her win, he grabs my hand and starts playing it with me too. So clearly, he's a little NOT quite there. And you could probably imagine what I was thinking when he slowly reached for my companion's face! Trying not to be rude and trying to be cautious at the same time, Sister R--- slowly moved back. All I could think was, protect your companion. Then his hand got closer. PROTECT YOUR COMPANION! He gently touched her face for a second then dropped his hand. HOLY HECK, I thought he was gonna PLANT one on her! Then he went for MY face! I held my breath as his hand got closer. But then halfway, he stopped for a couple seconds and took his hand back. Phew, what a relief! No I was NOT insulted he didn't want to touch my face. Afterwards, he took the back of our hands, gave each one a kiss, then walked away. My companion and I just stood there blinking in silence, not even looking at each other, and contemplating what had just happened. Good thing I have Purell in my purse.

Friday, we had a terrible windstorm. It blew at least five power lines down. It was crazy to look out at the city lights; it looked like about half the city was out of power. Unfortunately, an older man who lives in one of the trailer parks we regularly work in was killed in the storm.

Sister V---, a member from our Ward, invited us over for lunch and told us her deceased husband, Bob V---'s, conversion story. It is SO GOOD! He's told his story all over California and Utah. Sister V--- gave us a recording of it and told us we could make copies for ourselves, if we wanted. It's about how he grew up in an orphanage with Charles Manson and how they had similar stories as kids, but the choices they made created two very different individuals.

Saturday, we spent a half-hour chasing a dog that kept running into this busy street. He had a collar, so we were planning to take him to his owner, and then teach and baptize the owner and his family. Genius idea, right? Several cars honked at it, several opened their doors for it, and one car even went over the top of him, without even hitting him. Man, that'll get your heart racing. There was one point when Sister R--- and I were right in the middle of the road, probably looking like a couple maniacs. But hey, at least people are seeing us. We never ended up catching the little rascal, but it made for a great workout. We had even planned to walk the road that day. I guess Heavenly Father was going to make sure we were going to follow through with our plans. 

#iheartfacetofacevideos

Speaking of videos, the new Easter initiative came out yesterday! IT IS SO GOOD!!! But because we're missionaries, we got to see it a week before everyone else. The hardest part was watching it and not being able to show anyone. But here it is! Check it out!

Easter


A couple big things that have touched me this week are the atonement is so real and forgiveness is key. And that equals love.

Have a great week!

Sister Sommers

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

This Ward is on FIRE!

Hello friends and family!

Just about into my fourth transfer, I had a dream that my sister got engaged. Never mind about the dream, now I'm convinced it was a vision!

MY BABY SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED!!! AHHHHHH!!! HOLY COW, HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!?! I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE IT! It's a good thing I'll be coming home in the summer so I can be at the wedding!

We got to go to the temple this week. It was beautiful. Right as I entered the celestial room, Pap's funeral started. It was pretty heartbreaking for me to think about, but after a few minutes, this overwhelming sense of peace and love washed right over me. At that moment, I knew that everything was going to be okay.

A few weeks ago, I bought this homeless couple some lunch. I probably won't do that again as a missionary, at least because we're poor, but it felt good to do it. They gladly accepted the lunch, but didn't really seem like they appreciated it that much. I think that's how we sometimes are when Heavenly Father blesses us. We'll take the blessings as they are, but we don't take the time to truly thank him.

Within that same week, we had been talking to someone we had just met, and right before we were about to leave, he handed us $100! Now we're RICH! Just kidding. There was no way we were taking that money, especially after seeing his living circumstances. People are just so nice!


The Desert Hot Springs Ward is on FIRE! I feel like all they want to do is missionary work! Yesterday, at church, it seemed like all day people were trying to get our attention with referrals and wanting to come out with us. It was like being followed around by the paparazzi. Man, it's kind of exhausting, but in a more awesome kind of way. They also love to feed us. Like...they love to feed us a lot! Oh boy. Forget about gracefully coming down the airport escalator, I'll be ROLLING my way down.

Last night, a couple from England, the W---'s, fed us a delicious dinner and had invited two other couples. See what I mean! They're like butter...they're on a roll! :) Ha, get it? They are so cute with their English accents, so I told them I needed to hear them sing some songs from "My Fair Lady". They couldn't remember how any of the songs went, so I reminded them by singing, "...lots of chocolate for me to eat..." in the best English accent I could fake. As I started to sing, Brother W--- jumped right in with me. That was awesome.

Well sorry, I feel like this email was just filled with mostly random, scattered things, but they're my random, scattered things so it's okay.

Have a stupendous week!

Sister Sommers


Umm...guys, I'm still here. 

[If you would like to write to Sister Sommers before she comes home in JUST 10 WEEKS, let me (Katrina) know and I will give you her address.]

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Be Still My Soul

Hello friends and family,

I'm not gonna lie, this week has certainly been bitter-sweet.

For the past few months, my pap (grandpa), Delmar Fletcher Walker, has been suffering with leukemia. Just yesterday, I received a phone call from President and Sister Van Cott, saying that he had just passed away that morning. It broke my heart. It still hurts to think about it, but I'm at peace with it. He no longer has to deal with the sickness and pain. I'm grateful I didn't have to see him while he was so sick; I feel like it would've been harder for me to deal with. I know Heavenly Father is going to take great care of him. It's comforting to know that this is not the end. Our life on earth is just a small portion of the rest of our eternal lives. I know that I will see him again. It's one thing to teach the Plan of Salvation, and another to actually experience it on your mission. It may be sad at first, but eternally, it is a beautiful plan that Heavenly Father has for all of us. 

Pap loved to hunt, fish, work on word-searches, make things in his workshop, and eat ice-cream. Lots of ice-cream. I guess I get that from him. :) And you always saw a Pepsi in his hand. That's a total Walker thing to do. You would see any of them walking around with a Pepsi. Pap loved western movies and laughed out loud in almost everything he saw. My favorite memory with him is when he took us all target shooting. He turned me into a pro. 

Pap was honestly probably one of the most stubborn people I've ever met. He never liked to be wrong. Sometimes, it was quite humorous. I will never forget the time when he spotted a shoe in the middle of the floor and exclaimed, "Who put this foot...WEAR in the middle of the floor?!" HAHAHA! :) 

Even through his stubborn ways, he was faithful and honest, and supported and loved his family unconditionally. He was one of the hardest workers I've ever known and he cared for others. 

For a while, he worked and served as a fireman and saved many lives. While Sister R--- and I were standing in line at the store, I thought I heard talking from a radio behind me. I got all choked up as I turned to see a man standing there in his fire jacket. 

Most importantly, Pap loved the Lord with all of his heart. Even though he practiced in a different Christian Faith, I know Heavenly Father has a special place in Heaven for him, and that he will be rewarded greatly for his amazing faith.

I love you, Pap! I will see you soon. 

We're having temple trips this week. I was originally going to the temple on Thursday, but since I won't be able to attend the funeral, President said if I wanted, I could go to the temple during the time of the funeral. The funeral should be starting by the time I enter the celestial room. 

This week, we got to see the Van Cotts a lot. They trained our Multi-zone Meeting and they both gave talks in the Desert Hot Springs Ward! That was awesome. They talked a lot about obedience, and the blessings we are promised when we are obedient to His commandments. President's so funny. While he was speaking, he said, "Sister Sommers was sad to leave this Ward, but she's happy to be back." After sacrament meeting, President turns to me and says, "Wait, you are happy to be back, right?" "Haha! Yes, President, very happy." :)

Dearest family, I am praying for you. And I hope all of you have a blessed week.

Sister Emi-lee Emi-lie (Pap's nickname for me) :)

We Love You, Pap


Monday, February 15, 2016

Sprint to the Finish...and I Don't Even Run

My dearest friends and family,

Boy, it has been quite the week!

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's yesterday! Even if you're single, you still have family to celebrate with. And if you're family's not with you, you have your friends. And if you don't have friends, then just be a little more social. And if social skills aren't up your alley, you have a loving Heavenly Father who's looking out for you. And if you don't believe in God, well then, too bad because He'll be stickin' around for a while. 

Tuesday, when we were at Valley College, a kid came up to us and asked if he could interview and film us on what we do as missionaries. That's my second time being recorded in the mission. #famous - If you wanna check it out, or just miss the sound of my voice, you can find it on YouTube and just type in "SBVC Worshop Survey by Mitchell Young". He interviewed other people on campus, so we're somewhere in the middle. (3:40 at http://youtu.be/Ppu9uBjZ30o)


That same day, just a couple hours later, we looked at the phone to see we had a missed call. Sister B--- listened to the message they had left and then stared at me. "It's the mission office...they want to talk to you." Oh no. I called the mission office back and held my breath until Sister Allred picked up. "Hello, Sister Sommers! I'm just calling you about your flight information..." NOOOO!!! NOT THE TRUNKY CALL! NOT YET!

When President interviewed me last week, I was not prepared for what he was about to say. "Sister Sommers, keep working hard, but now is the time you need to start thinking about home." President, why you gotta say somethin' like that? Ugh...I feel like that is NOT going to help me be an effective missionary.

Transfers are this week. That means after this next transfer, I will only have ONE MORE TRANSFER LEFT! ONE!!! HOLY CABOOSES! They have a "Twelve Weeks" program for missionaries who are just coming in. Don't they have one of those for missionaries who are going home? Oh yeah, that's right, it's called "My Plan"...I don't even remember half of my life before the mission. How do they expect me to make a "now-that-I'm-a-somewhat-normal-human-being" plan for myself? I thought I was supposed to be a missionary forever! Anyways, I'll let you know where I end up this week!

Alright, enough with this "trunky" talk.

We were driving into town, when all of a sudden, I saw someone we hadn't seen or heard from for quite a few weeks. When we turned around to find her, she was nowhere to be seen. We figured maybe she had walked into the store I had seen her nearby, so we pulled over and walked towards the store, being totally oblivious to what store it actually was. We hadn't realized that the windows were tinted black until a guy outside the store asked, "...y'all goin' in there?" 
"Yeah...wait, what store is this?"
"That's a marijuana store."
"Oh...thank you! You have a great day, sir!

Look what I found in my studies the other day! It's all about when the saints settled San Bernardino. Pretty cool, eh? https://www.lds.org/ensign/2003/02/true-community-latter-day-saints-in-san-bernardino-18511857?lang=eng

Yesterday, we had one of the best Stake Conference's ever. It was cool because it was a live broadcast of some of the leaders of our church including Elder C. Scott Grow, Bonnie L. Oscarson, Elder James J. Hamula, and Elder Dale G. Renlund. It was pretty sweet to see Elder Hamula conduct the conference considering I had just met and shook his hand the week before. He talked about not fearing the things of the world. As long as we stand with the church and its leaders, we will not have to worry. Elder Grow talked about how we need to do more than just casually read our scriptures, pray, and go to church. We need to "feast upon the words of Christ," pray with all energy of our hearts, and keep the sacred covenants we made at baptism and in the temple. Sister Oscarson talked about "standing as a witness of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places," and Elder Renlund spoke on revelation and how true doctrine, understood, changes attitude and behavior.

Amen to all of that!

Have a phenomenal week!

Sister Sommers



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Not Your Everyday California Girl

Hello ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, grandmas and grandpas, and aunts and uncles of all kind! 

Thought I'd start my letter out with a good laugh. My companion and I were taking the dolly, crate, and table out of our car to take to Valley College, when a kid asks us if he could take it down to the spot where we set up. We thanked him profusely, and he went back to his truck to put something away before we left. While we were waiting, I was trying to prop the table back up on the dolly because it had fallen and was off balance and was just being held by some bungee cords. As I tried moving the table back to its original position, one of the bungees came unhooked, swung around the table, and snapped me in the leg. With teeth clenched, I turned toward Sister B--- then let out a silent scream. Sister B---'s eyes widened and asked me if I was ok. And then this happened...she laughed at me! The nerve.

And you know how people usually discover paper cuts before getting lemon juice inthem? Yeah...not me, I guess.


The other night, we were trying to contact some potentials we haven't met yet, and we just happened to find the grandparents of the guy who wrote and directed "Meet the Mormons"! Pretty cool, eh? I guess he also wrote and directed other movies like "The Paper Brigade" (another favorite) and "Wish Upon a Star".

My heart and prayers go out to the Perkins Family. Just a couple months ago, we lost a faithful and beloved husband, father, grandfather, Stake Patriarch, and friend. I just wanted his family to know that they're still in my thoughts and prayers. A little over five years ago, I had the privilege of receiving my own patriarchal blessing from him. It was one of the most special, most spiritual experiences I have ever had. Just yesterday morning, I pulled my blessing out to read. I'm so grateful for the wonderful blessings I have been promised as I live my life worthily.

Saturday morning, we had a surprise Mission Conference because Elder Hamula, who is in the Quorum of the Seventy, wanted to visit and talk to our mission. It was one of the best Mission Conferences I've had. He talked about the doctrine of "you". He discussed who we were before we came to this earth; how we were valiant warriors who loved the gospel more than anything. He talked about who we are on this earth and who we are on our missions, and who we can become. We are representatives of Jesus Christ and we can become just as He is. "Your progression of the future depends on the decisions you make now." He also talked a lot on the atonement. There is nothing broken on this earth that is beyond the healing power of the atonement. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I know this to be true. 

Have a blessed week!

Sister Sommers

New Mission Adventures

Hello my dearies!

It's been a great week!

Monday, I had a wonderful birthday thanks to a lot of amazing people. I got so many nice prizes, and letters, along with three birthday cakes! Not to mention I was sung to at least eight different times. What can I say? My family, friends, and the YSA Ward love me. :) Sister Van Cott is so funny. She called me that evening at 10:28 p.m. to sing to me! Hahaha! (Our bedtime is 10:30pm.) And yes, I did celebrate with ice cream too.


Tuesday, we had interviews with President. My interview went really well. I was happy he was able to answer all of the questions I had. After my interview, Sister Van Cott joined us in our District Meeting and gave us all sorts of wise counsel. I just love her! After District Meeting, President had already left, so Sister Van Cott asked Sister B--- and me if we could give her a ride to the mission office. We drove extra slow so TIWI wouldn't go off on us. Haha!

I forgot to mention, we had dinner a few weeks ago with peas in it. When I received my plate, my companion stared at me as if to say, "are you really going to eat that?" I ate all around the peas...and I still managed to get a swollen lip. I can't complain much though, that was a half-hour of imitating Angelina Jolie!

Yesterday, our recent convert, E---, gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting. It was based on the talk "What Lack I Yet?" given by Elder Larry R. Lawrence in this last General Conference. I was so proud. So proud that it made me tear up. He did awesome!

Well, that's all she wrote!

Hope your week is filled with all things happy! And don't forget to smile! :)

Sister Sommers

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It's My Party and I'll Wear Jeans if I Want To

WHello beautiful friends and family!

I imagine people back home are dreading today because it's Monday. Another round of school and work. For some missionaries, it's quite opposite; HOORAY FOR MONDAY'S BECAUSE IT'S P-DAY! But today I'm all like HOORAY FOR MONDAY BECAUSE IT'S P-DAY AND MY BIRTHDAY!!! [and she gets to wear jeans for Preparation Day]

Yes, today is the day I become one year older and wiser too. I am now 21-years-old! That is so weird. I feel like I JUST had my birthday, so it doesn't really feel like it's my birthday today.

Thank you for all the presents, letters, hugs, texts, emails, and phone calls! I received a special phone call from the R--- this morning with special permission from President! They were the Senior Couple Missionaries who served with me a few months back here in the YSA Ward! It was so good to hear from them! For more celebration, we will be bowling with a few other sisters today.

Wednesday was a pretty special day. That morning, we got to watch a Worldwide Mission Conference. It was pretty great and inspiring hearing from our apostles and other her church leaders. Later, we went to Cal State and found a ton of people who wanted copies of The Book of Mormon and who wanted to take the lessons. What a blessing! That evening, we gave our investigator R--- a temple tour before he moved to San Fransisco. Lastly, we got to go inside the temple to see A---, and three other recent converts perform baptisms. It was definitely one of the coolest experiences I've ever had.

Thursday evening, we had our Mormon 101 class at our Ward Mission Leader's house, and had three potentials show up! It was awesome. So happy we're finding those prepared people I always pray for.

HAVE AN AWESOME WEEK!

Sister Emily Sommers

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I Will Boast of My God

Hey everyone!

Happy MLK Day! I just love that man. God is the artist of diversity, but we are all equal in His eyes.

Sister A--- had her birthday this week! She turned 85-years old! 85 and still hauling wood into the house, and still driving her tractor around. She's a total beast.

Last spring, Sister P--- and I encountered a guy on campus who all he wanted to do was bash on us. Just last Thursday, Sister B--- and I were in Wendy's, making birthday cards, (and I guess I have to admit we were eating too) when all of a sudden, the same guy walks in. He ordered his food and sat RIGHT next to us. We kept glancing at him, wondering if we should say anything. 

Sister B--- then turns to him and asks, "Hey, don't you set up a booth on campus?" I expected the worst. And well...we sure did get a piece of his mind. I don't think he was trying to be mean, but it was pretty rude. He basically told us we were going to hell because we believed in a "false Christ", Joseph Smith was an "antichrist", and the Book of Mormon was "deceiving" us. Clearly, he was concerned for our salvation. He would ramble with what seemed like no breaths in between. I just stared at him while my legs shook uncontrollably. 

I was praying the whole time that I would be able to somehow love this man, but also defend my beliefs. After about an eternity of half-listening to his preaching, I wasn't about to argue; I just simply testified that I knew that Joseph Smith was a true prophet who was called of God, that the Book of Mormon was true and has immensely blessed my life, and that I know that our Savior lives. He stared at me for a few quiet seconds, then stuttered over his argumentative comment. 

After about an hour, I was wondering if we were ever going to make it to just a nice, pleasant conversation. So I asked him about his family, work, and his hobbies. He later asked what iexactly we did as missionaries. He then asked how much we got paid for doing this. We told him that we didn't get paid anything, other than blessings. We had to pay to come here (with some helps from friends and family :)) Once he realized we didn't get paid, his expression changed dramatically. He became humbled.

I think Ammon said it best when he said, "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

Well, there was a bajillion other things I wanted to share, but I'm running out of time.

Have a glorious week!

Sister Sommers

Thursday, January 14, 2016

HELLO OUT THERE!!!


Ok, now that I have all of your attention, I can now tell you that I didn't get transferred like President said I was going to. President changes his mind all the time, so I'm really not surprised. But I am so happy I get to stay another six weeks and hang out with all the YSA here! This is my fifth transfer here! Man, I've been here for an eternity! That's ok, he can keep me here as long as he wants. :)

Wednesday morning, my companion and I woke up to another earthquake! We definitely didn't feel it as much as the one last week because this time, it happened in Banning. It was a 4.8 earthquake! Sister A--- told us they only get earthquakes like this once every 3-4 years! Now we've had two fairly big ones within two weeks. After that first one, I had a feeling that wasn't going to be the only one I would experience.

Tuesday, I still had an awful cold. I basically looked like a breathing corpse. And then on Saturday, I had the worst migraine in the world, and my companion spent most of her time Friday evening throwing her guts up. My goodness, we're like the next season of "The Walking Dead". But we are feeling MUCH better. Hopefully, it will stay like that for at least the rest of my mission. That would be great, thanks.

School is FINALLY in session! HALLELUJAH! That means we will find more people to teach and baptize! School breaks are no bueno for the YSA sisters. We can finally start to build our teaching pool.

So that was about my week. Hope yours is going just swimmingly!

Love you all!

Sister Sommers



Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dancing With the Earth

Hello out there!

Boy, was this week filled with all sorts of excitement! Let me tell you!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! WOOHOO 2016!

The other day, we were at our Bishop's house, and we met his quite flirtatious 9-year-old nephew with some of the best pickup lines he was using on us. "Are you a racer? 'Cause you've been running through my mind all day." Or "Have you ever been to Tennessee? 'Cause you're the only ten-I-see." That kid will have you going for days! "Yeah, I had a girl once upon a time. And she was CRAZY! Get me this, buy me that. GET ME OUTTA HERE!"

HAHAHAHAHA! At least he's a little prepared for what's coming. :)


Tuesday, we were at the house, just finishing dinner, when all of a sudden, a huge giant outside picked up the house and began to shake it. Or so it was in my imagination, for a split second, before I realized what was really going on. My companion and I stared at each other, while she grabbed my hand. "IT'S AN EARTHQUAKE!" Things fell off the walls and off the shelves. We were a bit shaken up for a while. It seemed as though all of Southern California called us to make sure we were ok, afterwards. We later found out it was a 4.4 earthquake, and we were just three miles from the epicenter. A lot of people that had called us (mostly elderly people) said they had lived here their whole lives and never experienced an earthquake that dramatic. Don't think I would ever wanna do it again, but it was an adventure alright!

My companion explains that day pretty well in her epistle:

1 And behold it came to pass that on the second day of the week in the fourth week of the month in the twelfth month of the year in the year of two thousand and fifteen, while two missionaries were thus in the act of preparing for the week that was to come, behold the earth did begin to shake with great force. Yea, insomuch that the two missionaries that dwelt among those people living in the land of Devore did fear exceedingly for their lives. 

2 For behold the shaking did shake their house even so much as to make the more part of the things on the walls fall from their original places. And the shaking did continue as if to tear down every part of the house of which these two missionaries were in. And it came to pass that they did still fear. Yea, even more so than they had when the shaking had begun. 

3 But behold, they did not think to call upon the lord their God until the shaking had ceased. 
But behold, when the shaking did cease, their hearts were immediately turned to their God. And they did repent speedily of all their wrong doings and did pray fervently for fear that the shaking might return. 

4 And behold they did also rejoice greatly that the shaking had ceased. And what added more to their joy was that they were also safe and that their lives had been spared by the tender mercy and greatness of their God. 

5 And it came to pass that while they were in the act of sincere prayer and repentance, behold the spirit of the Lord came upon them and they were comforted immensely. 
Yea even so much that as the aftershocks commenced and continued on through the night and even into the next day, behold, they were comforted.

That afternoon, we were getting Subway, and a member just so happened to be there and paid for our food! Again! We should go there more often. :) Then on Thursday, while we were weekly planning, we fast-food-hopped around to four different places because they don't like you being in there for over an hour. When we got to McDonalds, the girl taking our order was a member and paid for our food, and when we went to Denny's, the lady taking our order said, "Sisters, I have wonderful news! I'm a member, so I was going to pay for your food, but this gentlemen over here is also a member, and insisted that he pay the bill!" We could not believe it. We were so blessed that week! Being in a YSA Ward has really taught me how to dislike fast food, but now I'm not so sure anymore... I know what you're all thinking, "Wow, Sister Sommers, you're gonna get fat and die of a heart attack at an early age." Calm down, if it's my decision, I hardly ever eat out. So there. Plus, we weren't feeling so hot by the end of the day, so we'll probably never do that again. 

For New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, President let us stay in the whole time so we could read the Book of Mormon cover to cover. I didn't quite make it through the whole thing, (I still had Mosiah and Alma) but I did finish it from where I was originally. That was a total of 17 hours of reading! Whew! But it was awesome. I have gained new knowledge, and a greater testimony of the Book of Mormon. I have really come to truly love it.


Yesterday, we taught Priesthood. Haha, I know, right? The Elder's Quorum President wanted us to train all the guys on how to hand out copies of The Book of Mormon. It was a pretty bomb-awesome lesson, for only knowing an hour in advance. We weren't exactly sure how well they were going to participate, but all of them were trying to be involved. We even got a few of them to do some role plays! Awesome.

Last night I went to bed and woke up so sick with this nasty cold. NOOOO! D: I've been doing so well my whole mission to avoid it! But now it's here. Sister B--- and Sister A--- have been taking care of me by giving me all sorts of oils to put on my feet, my nose, and to inhale. Don't worry, they're not drugs. (I know you were thinking that.) This morning, I thought my brain was going to ooze out of my ears and nose. Sorry. Too graphic? But I'm feeling much better now.

Transfers are this week. Ahh, yes, the "T" word that we all love. Just kidding, no one really likes transfers. A couple transfers ago, President actually told me what the rest of my mission was basically going to look like. He said I would stay here in the YSA Ward to train Sister Bates for a transfer, then he's going to send me off to a family ward and leave me there for the rest of my mission! Sometimes it's just better when you can actually know what the heck is going on. But who knows, he's always changing his mind about stuff, but only because it's inspired. He actually said I could request an area to be in. Doesn't mean it's actually going to happen, but it gives him a good idea where he wants to put me. So I expressed my love for La Quinta. :) I HAVE been known to go back to old areas. We will find out tonight, so I'll update you next week.

Later, skaters!

Sister Sommers