Thursday, October 1, 2015

Week 14: Laguna Beach Ward

Dear friends and family-

This week has been another good one!! Things are going so well in Laguna Beach. Jesus, who's planning to be baptized this Sunday, is still going strong and loving church and everything we talk to him about. We got special permission to have him baptized in someone's tiny pool! haha it's going to be such a fun day. The only time he could do it is early in the morning before church and we would have had to be up at like 4:30 to go fill the font so we're extra excited this is going to work out. Other people have been out of town a lot which is really sad because I just found out...I'm leaving Laguna Beach! :( I'm so sad! I really love it here and all the people are so awesome. Not only will I go to a new area, but my new companion is going to be fresh out of the MTC! I'm hoping it'll be a trio with someone else because I still feel like I'm trying to figure out what's going on half the time. I'll find out about everything tomorrow afternoon and officially be in a new place tomorrow night, so this week will be interesting. I think it will be good though!
Something exciting that happened this week- there were SO many weddings at the Newport Beach temple and our tour days are Fridays and Saturdays so we were there to see almost all of them! There were 17 on Saturday alone! How crazy is that? Anyway, one of them was the wedding of a girl from our ward named Savy and it was so fun to see her looking all perfect with her new husband. We got to go help out at her reception afterwards too and it was a really fun day. We even got to do missionary work while we were there! We were the ice cream girls and someone asked us for a Book of Mormon haha. It was great.
I thought I'd include a picture:

Week 13: Laguna Beach Ward

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 12: Laguna Beach Ward

My dear friends and family-

This week was another good one! I honestly don't remember half the things we did I think because it's been so busy but it's great because we've gotten so much done and seen so much progress made in the work we're doing.

We did a lot of visiting the members of our ward to boost morale and try to get everyone involved in praying and fasting for the people who could get baptized next (this?) month! August 22nd is the plan and we're not entirely sure who's going to end up being baptized that day, but we're planning a baptism and it's totally going to happen. It's been cool to see how even people that we didn't really see it coming from are agreeing to be baptized and progressing so much. Sister Fetui and I have been having a lot more opportunities to share and discuss the gospel with people so it's been awesome.

We have a new investigator! His name is Jesus and he's great. He loved coming to church with us yesterday even though everyone (not us, don't worry) didn't believe he'd show! Sister F and I were anxiously waiting for him to come and church was about to start so we were like alright we gotta go find him, we know he's going to come! so we ran all around the building and went outside and ran all around and there he was! I think he may have been a little uncomfortable and considering whether or not he was going to come so I'm so glad we found him. We're teaching him this week and he's coming to church again next week because he loved it so much.

This morning for our zone activity we went to Big Air (it's a trampoline place- I can't remember if I wrote about it last time we went) and it was so fun. I grow to love the other missionaries more and more the more time I spend with them. Sometimes at activities I think to myself how crazy it is that they send all these goofy 19-20 year olds to preach the gospel, and then I think 1. how much faith God must have in us, and good the gospel is that people will come unto Christ after hearing it through a bunch of kids. I truly do believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that it can and will help any person on the earth who accepts it in this life and in the next. I'm so lucky to have this opportunity to see that happening first hand on a daily basis! Being a missionary is pretty cool.

I love you all very much! Have a great week!

Love, Mariah

contacting at our fav park. we found some girls from Olathe, KS who were taking a bunch of pics so we asked them to take one for us

At that silly quittich zone activity last week. Notice the heinous red shorts. they rode up kind of a usually I don't think they're that short...


Picture from ward member, Susan Dexter.

Week 11: Laguna Beach Ward

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Week 10: Laguna Beach Ward

Dear friends and family,

This had been a very eventful week! We've seen so many blessings from God and we're super excited for what's to come.
exciting things that happened-
-our car got towed! Ah man it was a nightmare. We failed to read the sign that said we can't park outside our apartment and one day when we went out to leave for the day our car was gone! haha what a mess. But now I know what to do if my car ever gets towed!
-we had the next temple musical devotional night thing. I think they should really come up with a name for those because I never know what to call it and it gets weird. But it went so well! Shawn, who is investigating the church in our ward, came to watch after we begged her for days to come and she loved it! The feeling of the spirit was so strong there. Also my musical number went well even though I was worried about it because my throat felt funny. I prayed really hard before I got up there that no matter how awful I sounded people would hear good things and still be able to feel the spirit and my prayer was answered! Shawn left super fast because she didn't want us to take her on a tour, but we were able to give tours to lots of other people who came and it was so nice.
- we found the nastiest biggest spider ever in our apartment. It was sooo gross...we killed it of course. Can't have that crawling around while we're sleeping or anything like that! The bugs here are different than in Kansas City or in Utah.
-We invited Shawn to be baptized! She didn't really say yes...but she didn't really say no! I think she's slowly starting to see the positive influence that the gospel is having on her life and really feeling God's love for her. She's so great.
-It poured rain 2 days in a row! How crazy is that!? Apparently it's been forever since anything like that has happened. Missionaries who are about to go home say that's the first rain storm they've seen in the whole time they've been here. California needs rain big time and I also love the rain so it was awesome.
-While we were giving temple tours a man stopped at the tent in a rush it seemed like and asked if he could leave this big box under our tent with us while he was in the temple so we were like uhh..ok sure. And as he was hurrying of he was like thank you so much, I just can't leave live animals in the car! hahaha we were like what!?? And we looked in the box and under all these blankets there were a bunch of crazy exotic looking lizards! They were all in little tupperwares with huge price tags on them. We found out later that he and his wife breed and sell them. It was so funny.

Things have been really great lately! I'm loving life here and loving being a missionary. I also love hearing from all of you, so please keep writing to me! :) I hope you all have a great week.

Love, Mariah

Week 9: Laguna Beach Ward

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 8: Laguna Beach Ward

Week 7: Picture only

This is the same as the one mom got sent last night except with the bishop! lol he's too classic. I wish you could come and meet him. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 6: Laguna Beach Ward

Friends and Family-

It was another great week! Being a missionary is awesome. I've been learning so much and I'm so excited to see where the rest of my mission takes me. It almost seems like 18 months can't possibly be long enough. So about this week!

-We've been using a survey to contact people! It's just 8 or 10 questions that a missionary somewhere used and they're trying it out in this mission. It's so cool. For one, a survey seems a lot less intimidating than just asking people point blank if they'd like to learn about the gospel so we're able to talk with a lot more people. For two, it's cool to get to know about the beliefs and feelings of the people we meet! We met an old man named George who loved it. He said he only had like 2 minutes but ended up just talking and talking for like 25 and we may go back and see him this week!

-I had another exchange! This time Sister Granger (one of my STLs) came to Laguna Beach to work with me and it was awesome. Not only did she run with me in the morning (best day ever) but we clicked really well and were able to work hard a get tons done! Also whenever Sister Fetui isn't in the area I'm the designated driver so that was fun.

-I went to the audition/practice for the musical numbers that I had prepared with Sister Carr and Sister Shumway. So a little background- every 3rd Wednesday here there's a big musical devotional at the stake center by the temple where people can come listen to music and then take a tour of the temple grounds. So we were there on the 3rd Tuesday of June to see if we could perform in the July one. It turned out that they liked our numbers so well that they had us sing the next night at the June one and they want us to sing again at the July one! It was so fun.

-Went to the craziest service project! Laguna Hills high school (a little further inland) was prepping for their post grad party that they have every year and they needed tons of help so we and a bunch of other missionaries went to see what we could do. I have never in my life seen such an extravagant post grad party! It's going to be so sick. They have everything you can think of set for the seniors. I can't even imagine how much time and money went into it! We stayed for hours and barely made a dent in the work they have to do so I hope they finish in time! I think other missionaries are going back to help more. So cool.

-Got sunburned pretty badly! My bishop saw me and busted up laughing from the stand...

-Studied the Atonement of Christ a lot! That's a great topic to study. It never gets old because the wonder and amazement that it even happened never wears off, and there's always something more to learn. A quote that I particularly liked out of 1 John is in chapter 3 verse 16- "Hereby we perceive the love of [Christ], because he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for our brethren." It truly amazes me how much Christ must love each of us to be willing to suffer so much just on the chance that we might accept him as our Savior and follow his teachings. Being a missionary I've seen a lot more of the side of people not accepting him first hand and I'm so glad I have this opportunity to try to share what has brought me peace and happiness.

I love you all so much! I hope everyone has a great week :)

Love, Sister Mariah Wimmer

Me and Sis Fetui after the adult session of Stake Conference. She felt good about her hair so it was selfie time.

Outside the Newport Beach Temple. Such a lovely place.

Katie and Andy Hanson, parents' friends from Duke, ran into Sister Wimmer.
"What a small world!"

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Week 5: Laguna Beach Ward

Week 4: Laguna Beach Ward

Friends and Family-

This week was so good again! I'm lovin missionary life in Laguna Beach. The people here are so great to work with. things i did this week-

- got home late a lot...we live so far out of our zone that it's almost impossible to be home on time and we have so much to do in the evenings!
-got a ton of sun. my watch tan is ridiculous already!
-went to a new missionary dinner at the mission home. It was so fun to see all my friends from the MTC. While I was there Sister Carr dropped a bomb on me that she volunteered us for a musical number at a huge thing! We'll see how that goes.
-our bishop got Sis. Fetui and I a ukelele so that we can sing and play songs for people! It's been so fun and everyone lets us in if we ask to sing for them. I always sing and sister Fetui plays the uke. We're working on amazing grace and I am a child of God right now.
-had some amazing food! the members here feed us like five star meals every night. It's so fun.
-gave lots of temple tours! because there isn't a visitors center at the Newport Beach temple there aren't sisters that are called specifically to give tours so some of the sisters from our mission do it and Sister Fetui and I get to do them for a few hours twice a week. It's great to meet people there and great to just be on the temple grounds. It's so beautiful and there's a great spirit there.
-today for our zone activity we went to one of those trampoline places called Big Air! (It's owned by a member so we get in free) It was tons of fun and a great work out. The exercise situation here is pretty tragic so it was awesome to be there so long!

I don't even know what else to say because I didn't get a chance to outline my email...but I love you all and I'm praying for you! Have a great week.
Love, Sister Wimmer

S. Fetui and me outside the temple

Special permission to be on the beach for a ward thing... it was awesome to walk in the sand

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Week 3: First Week in the Field (Laguna Beach Ward)

Family and Friends!

I made it to California this week! I love everything here. It's so beautiful, the people are lovely, the weather is perfect, and I have no excuses not to work as hard as I can.

A little bit about where I'm at- I'm in Laguna Beach right now (I lucked out) and my companion is named Sister Fetui. She's a Polynesian goddess basically. She's Samoan but born and raised in Hawaii. I love her! We get along so well. She's kind and funny and very relaxed but still wants to work hard. The ward I'm in is just called the Laguna Beach ward and it's awesome. We've been getting to know people and everyone is so cool! I mean that like they're great and also they're all stunning and hip too...haha Sister Fetui and I sometimes feel out of place but we love it. The people in the ward also absolutely love us! There haven't been sisters in this ward for a while and they're so excited to have us around. It's kind of crazy how generous people have been to us. We live about ten miles outside of our area which makes for a long commute (the drive is great actually, we take the PCH and get to look out at the ocean and the beaches) in the morning and night and we don't go back home during the day but people in the ward tell us just to go to their houses and use anything or eat anything even if they aren't home. We get fed very well (almost too well...S. Fetui and I are going to get on a program soon so we don't gain 50 pounds..) and ward members want to help us in any way they can.

As far as missionary work goes, we're mostly working on getting to know people since we're both new to the area. We have done a little contacting on the street, and that's fun because there are so many people out and about especially near the beach that we can talk to but so far it hasn't been particularly effective. People lots of the time see our nametags and turn the other way or look down really fast...haha we're like hey we're just tryin to be nice! So anyway our main focus has been visiting people in the ward and getting to know them. We've gotten to know lots of active members as well as some inactive members. I think there's a lot of potential here with less active folks. It's been great so far! S. Fetui and I are going to learn some songs together so maybe more people will be let us in if we ask if we can sing for them.

I don't want to say too much because time is escaping me but I'm so happy and doing great! I love this area so much already. It's going to be awesome.

Love, Sister Wimmer

We stopped for lunch one day and ate on some benches with an awesome view

S. Fetui and I

Outside our apartment

Bishop Galland sent this picture to Sister Wimmer's mom when she was at his house for dinner.

Week 2: Departure from the MTC

Hi hi!! 
I made it to California! There were so many people there to welcome us all when we landed. The president and his wife, a bunch of ladies taking pictures, other missionaries. It was so fun. I'm really excited to be here. Everyone is so happy and excited. 
So I was on that pay phone earlier as you know...I called mom a couple of times for just a second and then as I was trying to call dad I ran out of money so I couldn't talk to him or call Eliza... :( I was so sad. But they're letting us email real fast so that's good. I'm not going to send a group email until next week so I can outline it and everything. I've been livin it up drinking a dt dew I got at the airport! hah it's been a little while. On the plane I was the only missionary sitting alone (as in not next to any other missionaries) so I was planning to talk to whomever sat next to me but I was basically out cold the whole time because we got up so early this morning (2:30!). The flight was easy though. lol I tried to take some dramamine before but I opened up the old thing of it that I had and it was all crushed to powder! Luckily sister Wilk had some. So I've heard there's a facebook page for like missionary moms and stuff from this mission and they're going to post a ton of pictures (I'll for sure be in some) and some videos too! (I sang some songs with Sister Carr and others and I think they'll post them too). So definitely look into that. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Week 1: First Week at the Missionary Training Center

Family and Friends!

My first week in the MTC was a great one. I've learned so much and I feel  like this was the right time for me to go on a mission. I don't think I would have been ready had I gone out any sooner, so I'm grateful for how things worked out. 
Here's what a day looks like for me-
5:45- wake up
6:00- sisters only work out classes
(they switch between yoga, kickboxing, and zumba. It's basically the best)
7:00- breakfast
7:30-4:30- class, practice teaching, class, etc.
4:30- dinner
5-8:15- study time. it sounds long but I feel like it's not even enough!
8:25- Gym time- the best part of the day. I usually play volleyball with my district for the first half and run around the track for the second half with Sister Carr (awesome sis who lives with me and loves to run)
10:30- lights out
It's so busy and I love always having things to do! 
So my district consists of me,S Lockhart (my companion. She's great), S Wilkinson, S Carr, E Everett, E Boggass (dad- his dad served in Tampa FL spanish speaking and he now is a doc at Duke!! how crazy is that?), E Jones (wyatt- he reminds me so much of you except you're cuter), and E Watts. Everyone is my Dist. is going to Irvine plus a whole other Dist. in our Zone is coming with us! It's so cool to be with so many people who I'll also be with in the field. 
I've been getting lots of letters! I love it and it makes me feel so loved and popular haha. I'd love to hear from anyone and everyone! Thank you so much for writing to me. 
Favorite things so far- I love learning, seeing the mountains every time I go outside, the awesome people around me, and I absolutely love that we get so much exercise time. It really makes my days easier to look forward to a run.
Hard things- I truly struggle not to break into song all the time, and especially songs that aren't missionary appropriate..I'm working on that one. 
Funny thing- one day during class this week our teacher had us do a speed walking race for some sort of object lesson and it was hilarious. Also I guess I'm pretty speedy because I almost won! I was second to an Elder in my district who has a little bit of an advantage because he's 6'5" I felt pretty good about it. 

As I've studied and taught this week, I have begun to relate more and more to a scripture in D&C 100

5-6 "Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people, speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men. For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea in the very moment what ye shall say."

I have noticed that as I speak, I gain so much confidence and I am able to really clearly talk about the things that I have learned and studied. I feel so blessed to have the Lord working with me in that way!

I love you all, and I'm sorry that the only personal emails I was able to send had to be short ones! They don't give us a whole lot of time to write here. I might not get the chance to email next week, so know that I'm thinking of you and I'm grateful for all of your support. 

With love, Sister Wimmer

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Call and Departure

Sister Wimmer received her call on April 4, 2015.

Sister Wimmer was set apart on Monday, May 11 and left for Utah on Tuesday, May 12. She entered the MTC on Wednesday, May 13 at 1:00 pm.

After she entered the MTC, one of her teachers, Brother Whiting, sent this picture to Eliza. He was in the Provo YSA 38th Ward with them!