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