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.