Monday, June 25, 2012

Hard Beginning, Happy Ending

Hello friends and family! It's another week with another email :)

This week was a little hard for me. There were many good days but there were also times during those days that I felt down and not motivated. Sister Davidson and I were really optimistic about this week and all the good that would come from it but there were some things that happened this week that, in a way, tested my faith.

To start off the week, on Tuesday the 19th, we had a lesson with this lady we met a couple weeks ago, Donna Denver. We were all excited to go teach her because she's super nice and she seemed very interested! Well, when we got to her house, the front door was opened and we could hear them talking inside. Sadly we could tell by their conversation after we rang the doorbell, that she was going to cancel with us. She finally came to the door and said that she wouldn't be able to meet that day. She then told us that she wanted to write down questions first that her son has about things that he's heard from friends at school and stuff and that she didn't have those done. So she said that she would call us when she was ready. It was really sad because we were really looking forward to meeting with her that day. But it seems like she still wants to meet with us and ask us questions. So that's good because we can answer those questions when she's ready and hopefully we will bring her family more understanding of what we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe and that she will want to learn more!

Then on Wednesday the 20th, Sister Davidson and I had an appointment with Yenida Scott. We called her on Tuesday to remind her but she never answered. We left her a message but she didn't call us back. So we went to the church that morning and got all ready to have a lesson. Well, 10am rolled around and she didn't come :( So we decided to wait a few minutes but she still never came. It was so sad! We really felt good about the lesson we had for her and it didn't happen. But we weren't able to go to her house because we had to go to service at City Hall and by the time we were done with that, we didn't feel good about going to see her. So instead we parked the car and walked for three hours! And that's another reason why it was kind of a hard day. We didn't get to meet with Yenida and then we walked and walked. It was a rough day for us but I guess we all have days like that.

Then on Thursday the 21st, we met with Rose Alva! When we got there to meet with her, she told us that she's been reading from the Book of Mormon almost daily now! We were so excited! She is really doing well and coming so close to baptism! So we talked with her for about 45 minutes and had some good conversation. We are so happy for Rose!

Then Friday and Saturday were pretty normalish days. Not a whole ton happened. But on Saturday night, we had a big ward party called Picnic on the Green. They have this party every year, they even have a live band! haha It was a lot of fun! Rose came and there were so many people that came up to her and said hi. She has been coming to the ward for about six years now, off and on, but it was still nice to know that people care about her and want her to feel welcome. Rose and I were talking during the picnic and she said how weird it is for her to be at a BBQ thing without beer and smoking. But she said that she actually liked it! That was so good to hear from her! She's been alcohol free for almost a year now and it's very exciting for her.

Then on Sunday the 24th, that was a BIG day! Rose came to church like she has been doing for the last three or four weeks straight, and after sacrament meeting, President Gutierrez came to talk with us and Rose and to give Rose a blessing. We talked for almost two hours! It was very good. It was something that she needed! And her blessing was even more amazing! There were things that President Gutierrez said that Rose really needed to hear, it was very cool! Well, to end our meeting, President Gutierrez said that we need to start planning Rose's baptism! And that we can have it next Sunday the 1st!! How dang exciting! We know that this is what Rose needs to help her in life, especially with her son who has some major health problems. So we are planning her baptism very quickly and we're very excited! One thing that President said though, was that this week, Rose needs to not smoke. So he told her to give Sister Davidson and I her smoke pack and that we would throw it away and that she could not buy anymore. So that's what we did! After we were done, we went to her car and took her pack and her lighters and threw them away! We talked to her later that night and she said that she had had some cravings but that she didn't go out and buy any! We are so proud of her! So we are looking forward to her baptism this next Sunday and we will be working really hard with her all week!

Also on Sunday, we were in ward council and we had talked to the Bishop Hancock about getting the ward to do a 40-day fast. So during ward council he mentioned it and asked if everyone thought it was a good idea. Sister Davidson and I were so excited to see that everyone supported us in that! The 40-day fast will include one family fasting each day and we will break the fast with them at dinner that night and to start and end it, we will do as a ward with a pot luck or something to end the fast! We are very excited and we know that this is what the ward needs to help them, and us as missionaries, in our missionary efforts! We have to plan this out really well and in two weeks when we go back to ward council, we will make it official and announce it in sacrament meeting that day! The Carbon Canyon ward is a wonderful ward! I really feel at home here but I know that this will help them in their missionary efforts. And I know that Sister Davidson and I will be blessed as missionaries with work to do as long as we work our hardest!

Well, this week started off rocky but it ended very well! Not a ton happened but that's ok! I'm so happy right now! As much as I love being at home, hanging out with my friends and family, and going to concerts, I know that on my mission is where I need to be at this time in my life. There are hard times and there are happy times, but I know that if I do all I can, Heavenly Father will be proud of me and the work that I do. And I'm so thankful for that!

Gotta run! Time to go play some soccer! :) Thanks for all your love, support, and prayers! I hope things are going well with each on of you!

Love always,

Sister Wheatley

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mission President Say What????

First of all, transfer calls were on Saturday night and both Sister Davidson and I are staying in the Carbon Canyon ward! Thank goodness! I was really nervous that I was going to leave and I was NOT ready. But when 10pm came around and the Assistants still hadn't called, we knew we were safe! I have really just loved working in this area. I didn't want to leave. We have so much that I feel we can still do here as a companionship. So I'm glad that we are both staying!

Well, to start off, last Monday the 11th, Sister Davidson and I went and visited Cheryl Thompson. She moved into the ward about an month and a half ago but hasn't been able to come to church because she works and takes classes on Sundays :( So we go visit her and we just have such a good time. When we got there, I wasn't really sure if we should go. I was a little nervous. But when she answered the door, she looked so sad. Turns out her mother has cancer and she was having a bad day. And then the rest of the night that we were with her, she just kept telling us how much she appreciated that we came over. And I'm glad we were able to be there for her. We just love Cheryl and we're so glad that we have gotten to know her. So we spent time with her and neither Sister Davidson or I had eaten dinner because we had been running late so she took us out to a burger joint in town called the Habit (which it's good but not nearly as good as Sammy's Cafe.) So that we nice that we were able to spend time with her when she needed it the most.

Then on Tuesday the 12th, we had interviews with President Becerra. I was excited because every time I've gotten to talk to him I just feel a whole ton more motivated to work harder. And this time was no different! I was really inspired. BUT the scariest part about the interview was when he said that "this mission is getting older and we need more people to train. So I need you to prepare to train. Not right away but soon." Mission president say what??!!!?? I about freaked out! haha I really don't feel like I'm ready to train. I don't know when this will be but I feel like I need to start over again and make a new resolution on my mission to do better. I don't want to train a future sister missionary wrong. So I'm glad that we have a new six weeks that I can learn again and be an even better missionary.

Then on Wednesday the 13th, we went out to lunch with Sister Lancaster. She's actually not in our ward but we met her a couple weeks ago at City Hall where we volunteer. She wanted to take us out and get to know us because well, I'm not really sure why but she did! So we went to the California Pizza Kitchen. Did you know that CPK invented the BBQ Chicken pizza? I didn't! haha But it was a lot of fun to go to lunch with her. She's so nice and it's fun to be able meet new people. I thought that was going to be scary but I'm actually kind of enjoying it. Oh, and speaking of volunteering at City Hall, when we walked in to start working on Wednesday we stood around for about 15 minutes talking to a couple of the employees about missionary work and what we do as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So that was really cool!

Then that night we went to the Relief Society activity where we made Love Bears for the House of Ruth here in California. It was a lot of fun! And the best part about it, while there I was in my first earthquake!!! LOL Ok, that wasn't really the best part about it but it was pretty cool and scary at the same time. My heart was racing for about 15 minutes after it happened. But we were all ok and we didn't hear about anyone in CA getting hurt by it so that's good! But I have officially survived my first (and hopefully my last LOL) earthquake!

Then on Thursday the 14th we had our last District Meeting for the transfer. It was once again very spirit filled! The thing that I love about my District is that we feel like we are one big happy family! We can laugh so hard and joke with each other but when it gets down to it, we can be serious and have a wonderful spirit filled meeting! And right before it was over, Elder Martinez who is our District Leader got up and said something about how he wanted one of us to come up and all the other missionaries were going to say something nice about that missionary. Well, I thought it was going to be one of the Elders but all of a sudden Elder Martinez told me to come up to the front. He said he didn't know why it was me but he felt like maybe it was a prayer I said or just that Heavenly Father wanted me up there, so I went. It really meant a lot to me! I did need it. I hadn't necessarily been praying for anything in particular but at the same time it was something that I needed. And it was nice just to get that extra boost of confidence that will help me in my missionary work, especially as I try harder to be a better missionary so I can be a good trainer in the future. So I'm thankful for that! Then after that we went out to lunch as a District and had a good time! (No one in our district ended up getting transferred so that's nice!)

Well, on Saturday evening we had a BBQ at a home of members in the Rolling Ridge ward. Brother and Sister Norris are the couple that come around and do housing checks and they wanted to have a Zone dinner before transfers. It was a lot of fun! We had hamburgers and what she called "Suicide double chocolate cake!" Sister Davidson and I decided to share a piece of cake but it was so good! And the dinner was just a lot of fun! Being together before transfers is always fun!

Well, yesterday was a good day! Church was amazing as always! Then we were lucky enough to have a very nice dinner at the Matthew's home! We had steak and it was SOOOOO delicious! It was very salty and juicy! And yes, I don't eat steak usually but I've had it about three times since I got out here and now I love it! It was so good! Then after the Matthew's, we went to the Brock's home! Brother Brock is such a funny guy! He was kind of scary the first time we met him but we have grown to love him and joke around! He told us that we could come over "after 1700 hours" if we wanted to have some Father's Day brownies! So we did! haha While we were there, we decided to share a message about Fathers. After we were all done bearing our testimonies and telling how much our father's mean to each of us, he grabbed a pen and paper and had Sister Davidson and I write down our fathers names and numbers, so we did. We thought he was going to wait to call until after we left but he didn't, he called right then and there! It was so cool to hear the one side of a conversation that he had with both of our dads. I wanted to get up and grab the phone but I know that wouldn't have been good. I wish I could have talked to my dad but I'm glad that I was there to hear Brother Brock talk to my dad!

Well, that's about all for this week! I'm so glad that I have at least until the end of July to be in the Carbon Canyon ward/area! I just know that it's going to be good and that good things are about to happen here! I can feel it!

Sorry this is a short letter. Not a whole ton happened this week but it was good! Happy Birthday this week to Maddie Dudley on the 21st, Kris Livovich on the 22nd, Uncle Dan Fleck on the 23rd, Mat Wheatley on the 20th, Jaclynn Wheatley on the 22nd and Lyndsay Myers on the 24th! Hope everyone has a great day!

And I've been meaning to put thank yous to people who write me in my email but I keep forgetting so thanks mom for reminding me last week. There are a lot of people who write me but these are ones that I haven't been able to write back yet... Celeste Hernandez, Bekkah for the package!, the Wheatley family a couple weeks ago at TaLisha's homecoming, Renata Skousen, TaLisha (PS- I hear congratulations are in order!!!!! I need pictures por favor!) and Natalia Hernandez! And Sister King, my mom said that you have written me a few times but I haven't gotten them, but thank you for writing me! Thanks everyone for the letters! I love getting them!

Hope everyone has a great week! Love you all!

Sister Rachel Wheatley

PS- the pictures in here of me and the Elders in our district, I'm giving each of them an award! Sister Davidson and I came up with the thought of giving them each an award that had to do with something they did this transfer so yeah, that's what we did! haha It was a lot of fun!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Once again this week has gone by so quickly! I really don't know where the time goes. But things are going good here! We had a very big miracle happen yesterday which I will write about later!

On Tuesday the 5th, I went with Sister Lehman and Sister Filimoehala again while Sister Davidson was at her Zone Council. It was such a fun day! I just love those Sisters! But it went really fast. It was sad because all their appointments ended up canceling all at last minute so that was hard. But we were able to get other things done in their area! When we went to pick up Sister Davidson though, she was super sick! She was sitting in Sister Becerra's car and when she walked not even two feet from her car to our car, she about passed out. So we went inside to get President Becerra to give her a blessing. He came out and talked to her for a few minutes and then he had us come over to his house to get her something to eat. We had snacks in the car but she wouldn't eat those and President had some medicine at his house. While we were there, this is the funny part, there was a picture out of all the missionaries from last December and Sister Davidson was looking at it. All of a sudden she said, "Oh, there's that attractive Elder." And we started to laugh. President Becerra asked which one and then said, "Well, I'll make note of that so you don't ever get put in his area..." It was really funny. She was so sick, which is sad, but everything she said was kinda funny because she couldn't really think. But after getting something to eat and taking some iron supplements, she was feeling better. It was just sad to see her not feeling well. Turns out she has felt like this before. A couple Zone Conferences ago she had the same thing happen to her so President was joking around saying that she probably shouldn't be a Sister Trainer and shouldn't come to conferences and things because he is just too spiritual and all the knowledge and spirituality is what makes her not feel well, it was funny. We ended up going to Glendale on Friday to see Dr. Lew, who is a member of the Mission Presidency, and she got some blood tests done. There were about 10 things they are testing her for so hopefully they will find something wrong. It's one of those things where you don't want something to be wrong but at the same time, you hope something's wrong so that you can figure out why she keeps having, what Sister Davidson calls, weak spells.

On Thursday the 7th, Sister Davidson and I went and did a lot of tracting. As we were in this one area, Sister D felt strongly that we should go to this one home. Turns out that the lady who lives there, her mom's family are all members of the church! She also told us that she's friends with Stacey Campbell, who is like one of the sweetest ladies in the ward, we love her! So that was cool that she knew so many members. And Sister Campbell told us later that Lori would have let us in but she didn't know the rules. So we went back yesterday but she wasn't available so we talked to her husband for a minute instead. Hopefully we can go back sometime and see her! She was super nice!

Speaking of knowing members, in that same neighborhood there was a house that we had been eyeing for a couple weeks and we decided to go see them. This family is good friends with the Mautz and Howe families in our ward. Sister Davidson and I have really come to find out that the best missionary work is through the members and their examples. We have known that all along but these experiences have just made such a difference to how we look to members! So things are looking up for our area. Most people we meet know members so that's incredible!

Well, on a more sad note, Saturday the 9th, we went to a funeral for a man in the Carbon Canyon ward, Brett Barnard. I wrote about him about a month or so ago and how we went to visit his family and he was living with cancer. Well, he passed away this week. It was sad to hear but at the same time, everyone knew it was coming and it's also a happy time because he doesn't have to suffer anymore. On Thursday we got a phone call from Sister Barnards sister who asked us if we would mind standing next to a table with a lot of information about thechurch being displayed. One big request that Brother Barnard had was that everyone at his funeral know what he believes. He had a big box of The Family: A Proclamation to the World pamphlets and many other church pamphlets. So we were able to be there in case anyone there had questions. It was really slow before the funeral and not many people took things but once Sister Barnard said something about it during the service, tons of people came and got things. There weren't many questions asked but at least we were there just in case. And the funeral service was beautiful! Each of "his girls" as he called them (he has four daughters plus his wife) got up and had written letters to him and shared those with us. It was very touching. I couldn't stop crying throughout the whole thing. It was amazing to see the love his family had for him. And also all the people showed up, it was incredible. They ended up having to add a couple extra rows of chairs because so many people showed up! He was an attorney so he knew a lot of people but not all of these people were from work, they were just associations he has had throughout his life. And so many of them were not members of the church. He was a great missionary throughout his life, you could tell. The funeral was such an uplifting experience. There were so many tears but at the same time there was so much laughter! We were talking to members of our ward after about how different LDS funerals are from other religions and I'm so thankful for the knowledge of eternal families and life after death. I can't thank my Heavenly Father enough for that knowledge in my life!

Then yesterday after church, we had a lesson with Rose Alva. I've talked about her before but she's been investigating the church for about 6 years now. Well, turns out that the time we were going to teach her, there was also a baptism for another ward. So we decided to take Rose. I guess she has been to a baptism before but the spirit is always so strong there that we decided to go anyway. After the baptism, Sister Davidson rushed out and we followed and she said she just had this strong feeling to go up and see President Gutierrez, who is also a member of the mission presidency. Sister Davidson asked him a question about what he would say to someone who knows the church is true but is having a hard time accepting it (or something like that.) Then he asked who it was for and we said Rose and from there, we let President Gutierrez just talk. We ended up walking a few feet away because we had a phone call and other people were talking to us but we would look over and at one point we saw Rose wipe tears from her eyes. Then about five minutes later, she came over to us and said the President Gutierrez said that she needed to pick a baptismal date and work towards it because without a date, nothing would ever happen. So she then told us that her date would be September 20th, her birthday! That is a long ways off but he said to pick one of importance, not just to pick, so that's what she did! It was such a happy time! She smokes so that's one reason she chose to do that date because she wants to be completely clean. So we're going to help her as much as possible to quit smoking! It's a very incredible miracle that she is getting baptized! It is such a blessing as well! I really firmly believe in miracles! And I'm so thankful to President Gutierrez for all that he said! I wish I had been in the conversation but I know that it just needed to be Rose, President, and the Holy Ghost!

Well, that's about all for now! It was a good week! I'm so thankful for this chance that I have to be on my mission. It was not something I wanted to do, as many of you know, but I know that I'm supposed to be here. I have already grown so much and I've only been in California for two and a half months! It's incredible! The gospel of Jesus Christ is true! It has been restored again on this earth! If I didn't know this, I wouldn't be here right now! I wish that everyone would know this! And that's why I'm on my mission, to help all those searching for the truth!

Love always, Sister Wheatley

PS - Happy Birthday to Aunt Liz and Whity J! I hope you both have wonderful birthdays! And to anyone else with a birthday, anniversary, and any other kind of celebration this week :)

PPS - Transfer calls will be this coming Saturday. I'm a little nervous! Things are just starting to look up in the Carbon Canyon area, I'm not ready to leave yet haha But when the Lord calls me somewhere else, I'll go and do! :)

Monday, June 4, 2012


Good afternoon family and friends!!

Well, once again, not a whole lot happened this week. It's surprising how fast this week went. Sister Davidson and I were talking about it and we don't feel like we got anything accomplished this week. We looked back and it just went so fast! Which we're sad about because we try to work really hard but by the time Sunday comes around and we have to send in our numbers, we realize how little we feel like we did. But I guess as long as we are trying our hardest, at least that's good!

So, on Wednesday, we were doing our service at City Hall with Bonnie Michaels (a less-active in the ward) and all of a sudden, this lady from a different department comes up to us and is so surprised to see us there! She doesn't usually come over to where we were working but she needed to shred something. Well, this lady ended up being a member of the church in another ward. She had no clue that there were missionaries doing service there. So we talked to her for about 15 minutes and during that time, Bonnie came over and started talking to us. Come to find out, this lady, Sister Lancaster, didn't know that Bonnie is a member of the church. So it was funny because Sister Lancaster said "Missionary moment right here" wanting us to help bring Bonnie back to church. Well, to be honest, that's one of the reasons we're doing this service. We have to do four hours of service each week but it's a bonus when we get to do it with someone who is a less active member of the church! So anyway, we're going to go out to lunch sometime with Sister Lancaster. She is such an amazing person, I can already tell! It's fun to meet so many new people!

Then on Thursday we were tracting and we went to this house that Sister Davidson has wanted to go to for a long time. When we got there, the guy was not interested at all but we got to talking and I asked him "If God had a message for you, what do you think it would be?" And that got him thinking and it got us to be able to stay and talk to him longer. Sadly he's going through a divorce right now and he's already a church going guy so he doesn't feel like he needs more. It was just nice to be able to talk to him.

Also that night, we went over to Cheryl Thompson's house. She just moved into the ward about a month ago and she's less active. We have enjoyed going to her house and getting to know her. She's 60-years old and she's a big work out queen! We go to talking to her about how we wish we could work out longer each day and she ended up giving us a work out book that she put together and we're learning moves from those to do each morning. It's actually a lot of fun! I like working out now! So each week we go over and switch out equipment to use. It's fun! And we just love Cheryl!

Then on Friday night to Saturday afternoonish, we had exchanges. I stayed in Chino Hills while Sister Davidson went to Monrovia. Sister Harker came and spent that time with me. We just went tracting most of the time but it was fun! There was this one family that we went to go see that Sister Davidson and I met a few weeks ago but they weren't home. While we were at their house, there was this old man standing outside and so we went to go see him. His name is Nash. He's in his 70's or 80's and lives with his wife. We asked him if we could take them on a church tour but he said he had other responsibilities. So we just got to talking to him and then we saw his wife in the window and he told us that she has Alzheimers (did I spell that right?...) So she came out and asked us who were were and she was just so cute! She shook Sister Harkers hand and then grabbed my arms and gave me a kiss on the cheek. It was the sweetest thing. Then she was trying to talk to her husband and we just sat there and listened. Then we started to leave and she said bye and she gave us kisses and then she grabbed my face and said, "I love you!" I almost bawled! It was the sweetest thing ever!!! And from that, I learned so much! I learned from Nash that no matter what, you never stop loving someone. I learned from Carmen, that you love everyone, no matter who they are. And I learned even more! It's weird how those small things can teach you so much! As a missionary I thought I was going to be teaching people things. But I've come to realize that I'm going to learn a lot from the people that I meet. And at the same time, I hope to teach them as well!

So on Saturday night we had another finding activity with the district. We went to The Shoppes (a shopping center) here in town and just talked to people. As Sister Davidson and I were walking around trying to find people, she looked over and saw the Mayor of Chino Hills. We had met him once before at an Eagle Court of Honor in our ward and we had talked to him for a while there. So when Sister Davidson saw him, we walked over and talked to him again. He recongized us and introduced us to his wife, their son and his girlfriend. Then we talked to them for about 10 minutes and that was cool! Then we went around and talked to another couple shopping and the guy wasn't interested but she was, and  that was cool. We gave them a pass along card with the SLC temple on it and she just kept staring at it. Then Sister Davidson felt promted to give them a Book of Mormon. He didn't want it but she was very excited for it! Sadly we didn't get any information from them but hopefully somewhere down the line, she will meet more missionaries and she will want to learn more about the gospel!

One more thing, there's a lady we have taught a couple times, her name is Yendia, and we were supposed to teach her on Thursday but she never showed up :( And we had a member from our ward there to fellowship her. Well, yesterday at church, Sister Navas came up to us and told her that she met Yenida! We were so confussed! Turns out, their kids are in the same class and they had a field trip on Friday and both Yenida and Sister Navas were chaperones! How random is that?!?! So Sister Navas got talking to Yenida and all this stuff and Yenida felt really bad that she missed our appointment but said she would call us this week sometime. But we'll go to her house tomorrow and see how she is and set up another time to come talk to her. I just find that so random but God really does put people in our lives for so many reasons and I know that it wasn't just a coincidence that both Sister Navas and Yenida went on that field trip with their children!

Well, that's all for now! The pictures that I'm putting in here are of Sister Davidson and I last night, Sister Butler, Sister Davidson, Sister Harker and I at our exchange backs, Sister Harker and I, me with Larry and Lorrie Williams (they are in our ward and we had dinner with them last night. We just LOVE them!), and also Sister Davidson and I with Sister Williams!

Hope everyone is having a good week so far! Happy Birthday to Uncle Scott and Simone this week. And if I missed anyone else for birthdays, anniversaries, anything. Love you all!

Love, Sister Wheatley