Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day Late Due to Memorial Day....

Sorry this is a late email. Sister Davidson and I didn't realize til Sunday night that Memorial Day was yesterday and the library was closed :( We actually had a family in the ward, the Peterson's, invite us over for a BBQ yesterday afternoon and they set up two computers for us to use to write you but I didn't have my notes so I just read the emails you sent me. But we decided today that we would come to the library and write.

Ok, so we got a new Zone Leader this week. Well... he's a former ZL in this area that got transfered four weeks ago but there was another Emergency Transfer with Elder Thorstead so Elder McKee is back here.

Then on Wednesday the 23rd, we had service at City Hall again. It's actually kind of fun stuff. This week we did a lot of stuffing envelopes for a community thing called National Night Out. It's a national thing but the city does their own little thing for it. It has something to do with keeping the city safe and drug free and a lot of other things. And then we did some shredding of old documents. It maybe wasn't the funnest thing I've ever done but it all reminded me of being at home and helping mom out with some of her work stuff. I actually enjoyed it though. And it's been good to do service there because the lady incharge of the Emergency Preparedness department is a member of the church. Sadly she's been inactive for many years though :( But we met her about a month ago and it's been fun getting to work with her and hopefully will in the end help her in coming back to church..

Then on Thursday the 24th, we had District Meeting. This was the most spiritual District Meeting I've had so far. Elder Martinez told us before it started that we were going to make this DM about Elder McKee since he was back in the area. So he had each of us stand up and give an example of a time that we have felt the spirit the most or when we have felt the Atonement working in our lives. I think it was such an inspired meeting because the spirit was so strong the whole time. And then E. McKee got up and we each had to tell him what we loved about him and since some of us don't know him that well, we had to rely a lot on the Holy Ghost. There is this one Elder, Elder Bucholz, who met E. McKee five minutes earlier for the first time and everything he said really was from the Holy Ghost. It was just a very cool experience.

I think one of the best parts of the meeting was when Elder Durfey asked Elder Martinez if he could get a blessing and then E. Martinez asked if anyone else wanted a blessing. It was cool because Sister Davidson and I felt like we both needed blessings but we didn't want to ask for one everytime we're having troubles. But when E. Martinez asked us that, we said we needed them. And both of our blessing were what we needed. There was so much said that we needed to hear. It's just amazing how the Holy Ghost works.

Having been able to get that blessing really made me think of how lucky I am to have so many worthy priesthood holders around me for the next 16 months. And that got me to thinking even more about how lucky I have been my whole life to have a father and brothers who have been worthy of the priesthood. It's such an important thing to have in each of our lives. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't rely on someone to help me when I needed it. So I just wanted to say thank you to Dad, Durrell, Daniel and Sam for being worthy of such a great thing!

During the week while we were tracting, we met a lady who didn't want to talk to us but we said hi and asked if she needed help with anything. Then she said, "I'm blessed with heavens best and no stress." I really liked that little saying. I really am blessed with heavens best at this time in my life, and all the time! I just feel so lucky to be apart of the true church of Jesus Christ restored back on the earth again.

On Saturday the 26th, Sister Davidson and I "hosted" a finding activity for all of our district. Elder Martinez had told us a couple weeks ago that he wanted us to start in the finding activity and we needed to find something that eight missionaries could do to help the work in our area. Sister Davidson and I had been thinking and praying so hard to know what we could do but everything that we came up with just wasn't working. So on Tuesday night we were going to give up and tell E. Martinez that we couldn't do it. But right before Sister Davidson sent off the text message, I came out and told her to wait until the next morning at 10am. I have no clue why I told her to do that because we had been trying so hard to come up with something for several days. But that night as I was laying in bed the idea came to me to have each companionship take three Books of Mormon each and write our testimonies in them and then we would go to four of the main streets in our area and just give them out to whoever we saw and felt like we should give them to. Well during the week we had come in contact with a guy named John and he told us that he wanted his children (ages 4, 3 and 2) to choose which church they wanted to go to. Well, Sister Davidson felt realy strongly like we should go back to their home and give them a Book of Mormon, so we did. As we pulled up to their home, they were leaving and we almost turned around to leave but we got out of the car and walked toward them. The mom, Julia, got out of the van and so we were able to talk to her. She was very appreciative of the Book of Mormon and we bore our testimonies to her and she took the Book of Mormon. We haven't checked back on them yet but plan on going this week! I don't know what will come of it but we just have to pray and trust in God that He will help them to know that the Book of Mormon is true. And hope that we can get them to come on a tour of the church this week as well.

On Sunday the 27th, my two months!!! (Can you believe it?!?!) Anyway, on Sunday we gave a tour to a 17 year old, Gordon, who we met last month. He was very willing to come on the tour which was cool. We haven't been able  to get together with him for about 3 weeks so it was good to have him free and come to the tour. We had a young man in the ward come and be his fellowshipper, along with the Young Men's president and his wife, and it was pretty good. It didn't go as planned because there ended up being a lot of distractions that kept coming our way but I think it went pretty good. We just pray that we can get him to come to church this coming Sunday and have another lesson this week.

Well, not a lot happened this week so I'm almost done but I have been reading out of the May 2008 Ensign that talks all about Jesus Christ and His Atonement. It's been very good to read out of because I have gained a greater testimony of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and everything He has done for me. I have enjoyed also reading the testimonies of members around the world that are in the Ensign. I have just loved learning each and every day about my Savior. I have learned so much just in the last two months that I have been out here. It's just so wonderful!

That's about all that happened this week. So Happy Birthday to Jonathan Wheatley on the 31st! And also congratulations on his graduation, right??? And to anyone else I'm missing on birthdays and graduation.

Until next week,

Sister Rachel Wheatley

Monday, May 21, 2012


I can't believe another week has gone by. Time seems to be going by so slow but at the same time, so fast!! There once again isn't a lot to tell this week but some things that happened have been really good for me and Sister Davidson but also very hard. We had some big realizations this week about things that have been distracting us and we have decided to make a change and start anew and be better! It's been hard though. We were at District Meeting when we both realized we needed to change things. Our DL, Elder Martinez, was talking to us about something small...can't remember what it was...but whatever it was, really made Sister Davidson and I think about things are reevaluate our lives as missionaries. I won't say what those distractions were but they are things that really mean a lot to the both of us. But after what E. Martinez said, especially when he went around and basically told each person that we need to focus, we realized that these things are holding us back from having any success in our area. The thing that he said to me really hit me hard. I felt like crying because I knew that it was my biggest distraction but I didn't want to let it go. At that moment I had this overwhelming feeling that everything would be ok and that if I let it go, we would have much success. So after the District Meeting, Sister Davidson and I talked about it and wrote our distractions down and then we wrote down things that we could do when they are coming back to us. It was really hard for me to do this. But I knew that if I did, the Holy Ghost would be able to speak to us better and help us have success. Turns out, it has helped us since then. And I'm thankful that I've come to realize this so early in my mission.

Well, I had to laugh because last Monday (the 14th) we went to the soccer field across from the stake center and played soccer. It was a lot of fun and I was enjoying myself. About 15 minutes into the game, one of the Elders kicked it and it hit me smack in the face! I laughed so hard! I couldn't believe that two weeks in a row I got hit in the face! I was lucky though because I was wearing my glasses and I was worried that they had broken. Luckily they didn't. But it was so funny! And it was funny to see everyone so worried that I wasn't ok. I just couldn't stop laughing :)

On Tuesday we had a 12-week program meeting for all the missionaries that came in when I came. It was a good meeting. We basically just talked about our first 6-weeks and things that we liked, things we're learning, and things that we haven't very much liked so far. It was just good. My favorite part was when the four of us missionaries got to talk to President Becerra by ourselves while our trainers went off with the assistants and talked. I feel so lucky to have a mission president like President Becerra. He really loves what he is doing and loves the gospel! The one thing we focused on while we were with him was what to say when we are contacting people. We don't just want to say the same rote thing so he really helped us with that. He gave us a challenge of coming up with 10 contacting questions for when we meet people. Things that might be of relevance to them and their lives at that moment. It's been fun writing those down because I know that they will help when we talk to different people!

On Wednesday night (the 16th), we got a phone call from the mission office and they said that there were two Elders there from the San Bernardino mission and they needed to talk to us. Totally random... Well, turns out, they met a young women who had met Sister Davidson and Sister Arbogast about 3 weeks ago when we went on exchanges. These Elders said that they were eating dinner at some place when this girl, Vanessa, came up to them and told them about meeting S. Davidson. Well, Vanessa then said that she thinks she needs to get a Book of Mormon now since she has seen two sets of missionaries come across her path in the last month. So the Elders called us to tell us that we really needed to go to her home and contact her again. We've gone by three or four times but she hasn't been home :( We hope that the Elders see her again because she works next to the restaurant they were eating at. They didn't get her number or anything so hopefully when they see her again, they can get her number so we can call her and set up a time to see her since she's never home when we go. I think that is so cool though and totally random! But it's no coincidence that she's met two sets of missionaries in the last month, it's God's plan!

On Saturday the 19th, we were really not feeling like doing anything. We had no motivation to go see anyone but we knew that we needed to do something. So, we parked our car and went knocking on doors. There weren't too many people at home, it was Saturday night, I don' t blame them for not being at home ;) Anyway, we knocked on this one door and the lady answered it and we started talking. Well, she told us that she was Catholic and we've heard that a lot from so many people so we decided to ask her what being Catholic means to her. She told us that it means everything. It's her way of life, she knows who Jesus Christ is and she said that He means a lot to her. Well, we don't like to tell people they are wrong, because obviously they aren't, but at that point we told her what being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints means to us. It was nice to just have a nice, civil conversation with someone! We asked if she had a family and she said that she has an 8 year old son. We talked about him for a minute and then we asked if she would like a tour of the church. She said yes but she works almost every day. So we'll just have to keep checking back with her and talking to her. She was super nice and like I said, it was just nice to have a civil conversation with someone :)

Well yesterday (Sunday the 20th), Sister Davidson and I spoke in church. I was SO nervous! I really don't like speaking in front of large crowds. But I made it through... My talk was a little different then most talks because no matter how hard I tried to make different topics work, I never could get them developed the way I wanted them. So I just felt like the thing I needed to do was bear my testimony and tell why I'm on my mission. It was really cool because I wrote it down but by the time I got up there, I changed so much of it. The Spirit is an incredible gift that we have. No matter how much we plan for something, it changes if the Spirit tells us to. And that's what happened yesterday.

Also in church yesterday, I was sitting next to a lady in the ward, Stacie Bingham, and she was flipping through her scriptures and all of a sudden she found a $20 bill hidden in there. She took it out and said, "The scriptures are just full of gifts." And I thought how cool it was that she found that 20 bucks and I wish it had been me ;) but then I thought "How true is that? The scriptures really are full of gifts." I'm so thankful for the many wonderful gifts that the scriptures give to me, and everyone who reads them. I love having the chance to be on my mission and to read from the scriptures each day. Not just the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price, but also modern day scriptures like the Ensign, talks given from the Apostles and so much more. We are truly blessed!

Well, that's about it for this week. Gotta run and write President Becerra before my time is up! And Happy Birthday to Carrol LaNae this week and anyone else who's birthday it may be.

Lots of love from California to everyone!

Love, Sister Rachel Wheatley

Monday, May 14, 2012


Ok, before I tell the story of the burnt toast from the subject line, I have a couple other things I gotta write first.

First of all, it was so nice to talk to everyone last night! It was a little hard but it was still good! I miss everyone so much but I'm so glad that I can write every week and call home twice a year. If you look at it this way, I only have two more phone calls and then I'm home! haha But since those phone calls are so spread out, emails each week will have to do for now! And sorry it was such bad connection, we have horrible service where we live. Luckily at Christmas time we can Skype! Yay!! :)

Ok, so last Monday (the 7th) after I emailed, we went to the church and had a Zone activity! We played Volleyball! It was such a blast! The funniest part was when I caught the ball with my face! I laughed so hard! I'm just glad it didn't hurt and then I didn't get a nose bleed, that would not have been fun! I was kinda sad when we had to leave to go grocery shopping. I didn't want to because it was fun! I'm not very good at Volleyball but that's ok, it was just a good time!

Then that night, we had a FHE lesson at the Wilson's home like we have been doing for the last few weeks. But this time their grandson and his girlfriend were there! (They aren't members...) So we had a lesson that really focused on them and helping them come to know if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is just the basics of what we believe. Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. It was such an amazing lesson! I bore my testimony right at the beginning and of course I cried and from there on it was just a very spirit-filled lesson. I'm hoping that when we go back again tonight, they will be there again and we can teach them about the Restoration of the Gospel. We also bore our testimonies at the end and gave a soft commitment to be baptized, meaning we said "when you come to find out that these things are true, will you be baptized?" And they said yes! So we have to keep working with them! Sister Wilson is someone who has such big faith that her grandchildren will be baptized, it's amazing to see her faith! The only problem though, is that they don't live in our area so we don't know how that will work if we keep teaching them and if they choose to be baptized. I guess we will come to that when it happens... But it was just such a good lesson! They are great people and they are looking for something more in their lives! Oh, and we didn't even get finished with the lesson we had planned because the spirit was so strong that we felt like we needed to talk about eternal families! And that was just really cool. It's amazing how much the spirit helps in lessons!

On Tuesday we went to City Hall to ask about volunteer opportunities. We met a less active member a couple weeks ago and she works in the Emergency Preparedness area of the city and I told them how at home mom is really into that kind of stuff and I'm starting to get into it too so that's something that we would really like to help her with (and not to mention, hopefully help in bringing her back to church...) So when we got there, we started filling out paper and she heard us there so she came up and talked to us and was so excited! She said she already has projects for us to do! So this week we are going over to help and I'm so excited! It will be a lot of fun!

Also on Tuesday we went to the home of a former potential investigator to see if we could talk to her and hopefully teach her. She let us in and we talked for an hour and it was just so great! She never was really able to talk to the Elders in the past because they would always come when her husband wasn't home so they just stood at the door and talked. But it was nice since we are Sisters that we were able to go in! We asked her if she would like to go on a tour of the church and she said yes! So on Thursday morning we had a tour! It was my first one and I was so nervous, but it was good.  The spirit was definitely there! At the end of the tour, we give a quick first lesson about the Restoration and that turned out really good, minus the fact that I drew a complete blank right in the middle of a sentence and then from there I just didn't know what to do. Luckily Sister Davidson was there and she picked up and the lesson turned our well! We both bore our testimonies at the end and she said that she really liked the story of Joseph Smith and the First Vision. We invited her to church on Sunday, especially with it being Mother's Day, but she didn't come :( So we're going to go back this week and talk to her some more and hopefully get more lessons in! Keeping my fingers crossed and prayers are being said constantly for her! I know that this gospel will help her in her life and with her family and hopefully she realizes it too.

On Wednesday the 9th, Sister Davidson had a meeting with all the Zone Leaders since she's the new Sister Trainer and so I was able to spend the day with my MTC companion, Sister Lehman, and her companion, Sister Filimoehala (Sister Fili...) It was such a good day! They had a lesson set up with a 19 year old girl who has friends who are members of the church and she's been an on and off investigator for about a year or so now. It was such an amazing lesson! Before we got to the institute building at Mt. SAC where we taught her, Sister Fili said that if any of us feel like we should commit her, just do it, no hesitations. So I didn't say much until about 20 minutes into the lesson but then I shared a scripture here and there and shared some thoughts and that was it. Well, after I read one of the scriptures (I can't remember now which one it was) I felt the spirit so strongly that I commited her to baptism. She sat there for a minute and said that that's one thing that she's been thinking of for a long time! She's worried that if she joins the church, her family will disown her. Well, we talked about it for about 15 minutes and then we had her pray to ask Heavenly Father if baptism is what He wanted her to do. Her prayer was AMAZING!!! The only other time I heard a more amazing prayer was in my last class of institute before my mission given by a student with down syndrome, that was the best prayer I've ever heard! Anyway, we sat there in silence for about 10 minutes and then Sister Fili started to talk and said how they had prayed about a baptismal date for her and that is June 3rd. We talked for a few more minutes and Julia said yes to that date! It was just the most amazing feeling ever to be in that lesson! There were so many tears it was crazy! But that's because the spirit was so strong and we knew that baptism is Julia's next step. We understand that it will be hard for her to go against what her family wants but she knows that she needs to do it. I don't know why I was so lucky to have been apart of that lesson but I'm glad I was! It has helped me to know where I want to get with my future investigators. I've knewn that's where we want to get all along but to actually see and be apart of that was amazing!

Ok, so on Thursday morning I was getting ready and I smelt some horrible smell out in the kitchen. I ignored it for just a couple minutes cause I was in the bathroom and Sister Davidson was in our room so I figured she had smelt it to and was looking for it. Well, I went back to our room and she was still in there so I went to the kitchen and there was smoke EVERYWHERE!!! In the kitchen, the front room, and in the tv room! It was so scary! Sister Davidson had put in some toast and the setting on the toaster was off somehow and it was burning the toast! I ran to the toaster and there were small flames in it, so I yelled for her and said there was a fire! I turned off the toaster and unplugged it and didn't know what to do from there. I froze! luckily the fire wasn't big so we just let it dwindle out in the toaster but the smoke was so nasty! We opened up windows and doors and even the garage door to hopefully get it out. Well, it's been four days and the smell is finally all gone! It was so scary!! I'm just very beyond thankful to my Heavenly Father for keeping the flames small and keeping us safe! I don't know what we would have done if something worse than that had happened! It ended up being a little funny because that day was Sister Davidson's half way mark and we had been trying to figure out what she could burn. Well, there we go, burnt toast for Sister Davidson't half way celebration! :)

Also that morning, after the church tour, we had District Meeting. We have a new District Leader after and Emergency Transfer (don't know why there was an ET but it keeps me wondering LOL It doesn't matter why but it is kinda interesting...) Well, our new DL, Elder Martinez is so amazing! He is so intune with the Spirit! It was the best DM we've had since I got here! Then that night we asked him to help us in our finding new investigators and he told us that he prayed about it and he wanted us to read our Patriarchal Blessings and our answers would come from the talents mentioned in our blessings! It was so cool to go read mine and see what the Spirit was able to come up with and teach me. It was just so amazing! I'm so thankful for Elder Martinez and his willingness and love of the gospel to be so intune with the Spirit!

Well, I'm running out of time and that's about all I have to write for this week but just wanted to wish Happy Birthdays to Jane Orton tomorrow, Micah Palm on the 17th and Jason McNeece on the 18th! Hope you guys all have wonderful birthdays! Love you!

And also, WELCOME HOME to Sister Wheatley the 1st :) I'm so happy to hear that you're coming home today and that I was able to share a month and a half of our missions together even though we were in different states! :) Love you tons!

Love you all so much! Until next week :)
-Sister Wheatley the 3rd :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Planting Seeds

Well, today is the start of another transfer and because I'm a new missionary and doing a new program they have, I get to stay in my area for another six weeks! I'm so happy! I don't feel like I have accomplished much here yet. But thank goodness that we have another six weeks that we will be in this area and we are going to get something accomplished by the end of these six weeks! I know that it doesn't seem like we are doing much but I also know that every person we talk to, we are planting a seed for somewhere down the road that will bloom into a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Not a whole ton happened this week so this might be a short email. To get started, last Monday (the 31st), we went to a home that we decided we wanted to contact this week. Mr. Smith is the man who lives there and he was taught in the past by missionaries and we saw him in our area book and thought maybe we should go see him. So when we got to this house, this guy came out and started to get kinda mad at us for being there. I guess Mr. Smith was staying at this other guys home and he said that he didn't want anyone coming and bothering them. Well, there was no note of that in our notes so that's why we went there. So after the home owner talked to us for a couple minutes about how he didn't want us there, he said he would go get Mr. Smith. Well, we stood there for a couple minutes longer and I asked Sister Davidson how she was feeling and we both weren't feeling very good. So we walked away. A couple seconds later we heard someone yelling from the house but we kept walking. I felt bad for ignoring them and walking away but neither of us felt good about staying. I'm so thankful to my Father in Heaven for the gift of the Holy Ghost so that I can know when I'm in a bad situation or not. It is such a blessing to be worthy and have the Holy Ghost. It is so important in our daily lives, especially at this time in my life as a missionary.

Then on Thursday, Sister Davidson and I decided to go to this place at the edge of our mission and visit a former investigator. The only problem with this is that on the map we have, we saw the name of the street but we weren't sure what street it was off of because there was a hole punch in the paper... But we decided to go anyway and just hope that we would be guided to where this lady was. Well, after making a wrong turn and going up this super scary one way road on the side of the mountain, we found a place to turn back and when ended up going to another road across the main road, Carbon Canyon Road. We didn't know where we were because of the hole punch in our map but after driving for a couple minutes, we finally found the road we were looking for! Can you say, guided by the spirit?! There was no possible way that we would have been able to find that road without guidence. So we found a parking spot (it was on a mountain side so there was very limited parking spots) and we walked up to this house. Well, the lady wasn't available at that time so we decided to go exploring and see where one of the roads would take us. We went past a home and Sister Davidson felt like we should go there. Well we kept walking but we were going down a road that we didn't feel particularly good about going down so we turned back. When we went back past this house again, we decided to knock on the door. The lady at home was very nice and we talked to her for about 15 minutes and she seemed really interested in what we were telling her. She had a few questions here and there and we tried our best to answer them. She asked at one point if she could buy a Book of Mormon somewhere so that she could read it. Well, we had some in our car so we hurried back down to get one. When we got back to her house, she was once again listening to what we had to say about the Book of Mormon and she said she would read it. We also gave her a DVD called Finding Faith In Christ and we thought that would be something she would like too. She told us that we could come back again this week! We called her yesterday (Sunday) because we wanted to check up on her and see if she had read the Book of Mormon or watched the DVD. She said she hasn't yet but she's planning on it. So we bore our testimonies again just to give her another reassurance and that was that. We will call her again this week and hopefully be able to go up and see her. I think it's interesting how we had no clue where this road was and when we found it, the lady we went to see wasn't available. The Lord really does work in mysterious ways. But I'm so grateful that we were led to her!

On Friday we went to the funeral for a lady in our ward, Vi Poh. It was such an amazing funeral. Her son and his family are not members of the church and almost everyone else there are non-members as well so it was nice that her son let our ward take charge of everything during the services. It was such a nice service. They told amazing stories about her when she was growing up and other things and it was just so nice to be there and feel her presence there. She was a very amazing lady and I'm sad that I didn't know her besides meeting her a couple times. It was also nice to be able to sit there and know where she is right now. To know that she is in the presence of her Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, that she is back with her husband who she is sealed for eternity with and also with her parents, her grandmother who raised her, and many other relatives who have passed on. It's so comforting to know that there is life after death. And especially to know that because of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, we can be with our families forever.

On Saturday we had Transfer calls. Sister Davidson and I knew that we weren't going to get a phone call because of the 12-week program I am doing. But when the phone rang and the ringtone was the one set specifically for the Assistants to the President, our heart sank! Luckily they were just calling to tell Sister Davidson that President Becerra has called her as the new Sister Trainer. So that's kind of like being a Zone Leader but for the Sisters. That just means that when we do exchanges from now on, she will be the one that goes to an area and teaches new ways areas can be successful. So she's excited about that. And I'm excited that I'm not a Sister Trainer LOL It sounds fun but at the same time, a little hard.

For lunch that day, we went out as a Zone. There are a couple changes happening in our Zone, one of the ZL's is being transfered, an Elder is going home on Tuesday, and we're adding another Elder to a tripanionship. So there are some things being changed so we all went out to lunch. The ZL that is being transfered decided he wanted to go to Buffalo Wild Wings... I think he just wanted to go for the sports games that would be on LOL That's the only time he would be able to watch sports on his mission... It was a ton of fun! And yes, there were a couple baseball and basketball games on! haha The Elders really enjoyed those! And I'll admit, I watched a little as well... But for the most part, it was just fun being together as a Zone! It was funny because all of the Elders got some kind of BBQ wings and Sister Davidson and I got Chicken Quesadillas LOL We are so cool! ;) Like I said, it was just an enjoyable time!... Until we got the bill.... It was $160! That's a whole months worth of money! It was funny because one of the ZL's thought it could all go on one check and we would just pay them back. Well, when the bill came and we realized how much it was, that was not possible. So at that point it took us almost 15 minutes to figure out how we were going to pay for it because they could only split a check in four ways, so that was hard. But we finally figured it out after much frustration and laughing! Good times!

On Sunday night we called Momma J at the hospital to see how she's doing. She's waiting for the surgeon to come and decide when she can have surgery. She is really not liking staying in the hospital but if she hadn't been there, she could have died. So she's thankful for that fact. She's not sure when she will be able to come home but hopefully it is soon. It's really lonely walking in the house at night and her not being there, kinda like the Elders said a couple weeks ago about their place when Vi Poh had her stroke... And also, Momma has a dog, Cassie, and she's been at a friends house for a week and it's sad to come in and not her her barking and her little feet running to the door. I never thought I would say that about a dog but it's true... We miss it! But she keeps asking for prayers and we of course say them and we just hope that she will come home soon. We know that whatever happens, will all be part of God's plan but we hope that His plan is to let her stay here a while longer and be healthy again.

On Sunday after church we went on a "tour" of the Family History Center here because we learned that that's another way we can get investigators. There are so many people interested in Family History these days that we need to start talking to people about that. Anyway, it was really cool to get a tour of it! It really got me thinking about Family History! And I just scanned over your email today and saw that you said something about Family History and doing your families! I think with your experience and mine and thinking about your family while I was at the Family History Center, that's saying something! I think it's time you (and I when I get home) start doing some family history! I got super pumped over it! haha

Anyway, that's all the time I have for now! Not a very exciting week but it was fun! I'm really looking forward to these next six weeks! Good things will happen! :)

The pictures on here are of my District (minus the ZL's who are in my district) and of our Zone! We had a little too much fun taking the District pictures haha And the Zone group one isn't the best but it works! Tons of fun!

That's all for now, love you all! And Happy Birthday to Ben and Erin Wheatley this week! Hope you both have a great day!

Love always and forever,

Sister Rachel Wheatley

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Can you believe that I've been in California for ONE MONTH already?!!? It's gone so fast! There are days that were slow but for the most part I feel like I just got out here! My mission will be over before we know it at this rate!

Well, to get started, I know there's a lot that I didn't write about last week but I'm in the middle of writing a letter home. Last week there was just a lot of stuff to write about so I wasn't able to finish my letter. But today I should be able to and get it sent off by tomorrow.

Ok, so this week we did exchanges. Exchanges are where we switch companions for a total of 24 hours with other missionaries. We usually do it within our zone but Sister Davidson and I are the only sisters so it's not like we could do exchanges with the Elders LOL So we exchanged with Sister Butler and Sister Arbogast in the Monrovia/Duarte area about 30 minutes from our area. It was fun. I was companions with Sister Butler. We did a service project at the Food Bank in the morning and then we went to Less Actives or Recent Converts homes most of the rest of the day. Most of them that we went to see weren't home but it was a good try. We also had a lesson later in the afternoon with a lady who'd son and his family are members but no one else in the family is. When we got there, her son, who lives in Alaska, was there visiting so that was nice to have him there to share his testimony and insight on the gospel. Then we had a lesson with these two teenage girls (I forgot their names). They seem like they are really grasping the gospel and loving it. They had a lot of questions which was nice that we could answer. We also had a recent convert with us (President Becerra's daughter friend, Paula) and she was able to share her testimony with them which was nice. It was a very good lesson and there were times where the spirit was there strongly!

When I got back from exchanges on Thursday, Sister Davidson told me that Momma J (the lady we live with) was in the hospital. She has a lot of health problems and we could tell that she wasn't doing very good the last few days and she finally got so bad that her daughter took her to the hospital. I was so sad to hear that! I love Momma! She is a wonderful lady with such a strong spirit and testimony! It was just so sad to hear that she wasn't doing very well. So on Friday her daughter told us that she really wasn't doing well so that night we went to go see her. I am not a fan of hospitals and that's one of the reasons! It just makes me more sad! But she is strong and she is fighting to get better so that she can come home. The doctors are so wonderful and helping her and her daughter Julie said that she should be home by the end of this week. So we are crossing our fingers and saying our prayers for her.

Last Monday we were able to meet with the Relief Society president and she gave us a list of less active sisters in the ward and asked if we could go visit them. So Sister Davidson and I, in typical Mormon standard, made cookies for some of these sisters and took them around. It's surprising what a plate of No Bake Cookies can get you! haha No, the sisters we went to see are super nice and let us in so that was good! We had nice conversations with them and we'll just keep going back and being their friends. We really do care about them and want them to come back to church of course, but a little plate of cookies for an incentive never hurt anyone ;)

On Friday night we visited this kid that we met a couple weeks ago, Gordon, who we felt inspired to give a Book of Mormon to and when we went to see him, he told us that he had been super busy and hadn't had time to read. So we asked if he had a couple minutes that we could sit down with him and read a little bit and talk about what we believe. He's an athiest so it was a little hard trying to figure out how what we had to tell him would help him. Obviously the gospel of Jesus Christ can help anyone no matter what but how do you tell an athiest that? So we asked him questions about God and things like that and talked about the Book of Mormon and there were many times where the spirit was definitely there! It really seemed like he was taking it all in and especially the fact that there is a God, I think he accepted that. He still has to find out for himself but with examples that we gave and testimonies that we shared, he really seemed to have a more open heart by the end of the lesson. So we asked if we could come back this week and he said yes! So we aren't going back til Friday but we are going to keep in contact with him this week to keep the church and what we taught him on his mind. We think that having the lesson at the church building will be even better for him because the spirit is so strong there!

On Saturday we had a service project at the local high school, Ayala HS (whose mascot is a Bulldog haha), where we put mulch in their flower beds and other areas in their courtyard. It was a Mormon

Helping Hands service project but we tried to get the community involved. There were a few non-members there which was nice! It turned out to be a good service project. They had 4 hours set aside for it but we finished in an hour and a half! That's how many people we had there! It was so cool! The only problem with it was at the end, there were no donuts or hot chocolate. I thought every service project we do in the church has donuts and hot chocolate! LOL JK But one of the Elders that was there mentioned that too so I'm not the only one that thinks that way :) But in all seriousness, it was a very good service project with a great turnout!

Today we were finally able to go to the temple! We went to the Redlands temple! We are the only zone in the mission that goes to the Redlands. So it was nice to go there and the spirit was great there like always! We had to get a member to take us so we had Sister Jones and Sister Brock go with us! It was very good! I'm glad that we live so close to the temple that we are able to go, even though it's only twice a year. I know there are many missionaries who don't get to go at all on their missions so I feel so blessed!

Well, time is running out so I better go! I will finish writing my letter from last week and a few other things from this week and will send that off asap!

Love you tons!

Sister Rachel Wheatley

PS - Happy birthday to Nik and Tasha Wheatley! Love you guys!

PPS - I love getting letters from everyone! I feel so blessed to have amazing family and friends! I am trying my best to write each one of you back but you might not get a letter right away, but you will get one!