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

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. 


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!


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