Sorry I didn't get this out to you last night like I thought I'd be able to. We had a dinner appointment and by the time we got done with that and got back to the library, there was only 30 minutes til it closed and they won't let you on the computers with less than an hour left.
Well, this last week was a very hard but good week. A lot happened. I'm going to leave it up to mom to decide if she wants to put this whole letter for everyone to see but I'm just going to tell it as it is. I know that sometimes people may sugar coat things but because of the week I had, I'm not going hold back in this email.
On Tuesday the 7th, Sister Davidson had a Zone Council meeting so I went and spent the day with Sister Carrell in Walnut. I've spent a day with her last month so I was excited! We worked in her area and had a very successful day. We went to a Recent Convert's girlfriend's home, Lisa and Ivan, to have one of Ivan's after-baptism lessons. It was a very good lesson! We started out teaching Ivan but in the end we taught them both. And the Spirit was super strong! We didn't really have a plan when we went in there but both Sister Carrell and I knew before we went in there that it was going to be a good lesson. We talked a lot about missions and families. Both Ivan and Lisa want to serve missions but there's something holding them back. Since Ivan just joined the church, he has to wait a year and that made him happy. He didn't feel like he was ready right now. But when we told him he's have to wait, he got this peaceful feeling that he would be ok in a year from now. And for Lisa, she's being held back because she doesn't want to leave her family. Her family has had some major struggles in their lives and she's the one that is always there when her siblings or parents need her. Well, to make a long lesson short, both Sister Carrell and I were able to use personal experiences to help them both. It was really amazing! The Spirit is real! I'm so thankful for being able to teach by the Spirit. I don't know what will happen, but I know that the Spirit was there and that if Ivan and Lisa continue to follow that Spirit, things will work out for them!
Also on the 7th, that was my FIVE month mark! Can you believe that I've been on my mission for FIVE months now?!?! Wasn't it just yesterday that I entered the MTC??? It's going by so fast!
Then while we were asleep that night, there was another EARTHQUAKE!! I woke up to it and I was so scared! It was a 4.4 earthquake. I was so worried that there would be an after shock and that it wasn't going to be good. But luckily we were safe.
On Wednesday the 8th we had an all Sisters Conference. It was amazing!!! We got all 22 Sister missionaries together and just had a very good day! It was nice because President Becerra had each of the Sister Trainers get up and talk. There are four of them and each of them talked on a different subject but they all ran together very well. They talked a lot about being too hard on ourselves, not having enough confidence, being too comfortable, and not having enough faith. It was amazing how these small things really did help each of us Sisters. There was so much said that I feel was exactly for me. Then Sister Becerra got up and talked about not being afraid and how we are all now "part of the club - the Sister Missionary club." She asked us what blessings we have received from being on our missions and how the Lord will not permit us to fail as long as we do our part. Then President Becerra got up and talked about us being double-minded missionaries and how we can't be that. We need to focus on our missions. Nothing else. Then he talked about being over-whelmed and how we need to face our problems and our fears. We need to go against our problems and we will succeed. He also talked about how our greatest strengths can be our greatest weaknesses. There was a lot more that was said that day that really needed to be heard. I'm so thankful for Heavenly Father for having President Becerra put this Sisters Meeting together.
On Thursday the 9th we had a Zone Meeting. We usually have District Meetings every Thursday but President Becerra now wants us to have Zone Meetings once a month. It was a very good meeting! Once again, there was a lot said that I needed to hear. It was a lot of the same things that I heard the day before in Sisters Meeting but it's always nice to hear things again, especially with different view points.
Then that night we went to the park to do some contacting and we met Lucy, We asked her how she was doing and then she just let it all out. She's super nice and we had an hour long conversation. Her Bible study got cancelled that day so it was nice that we were able to be her Bible study. We found out that her mom is meeting with the Elders in her area so that was funny because she said, "My mom's meeting with the guys on the bikes." haha I just love that that's how the Elders are identified. Well, we had a very long conversation with her and it's just amazing how the Lord puts us in the right places at the right times. Even when I didn't really feel like going to the park. I didn't feel like it was worth our time but Sister Davidson kept pushing for it and in the end I'm glad she did.
Then on Friday the 10th, that was a very emotional day for me. At the end of our weekly planning each week we have what is called Companionship Inventory. That's where we tell things we like about the other, what we can improve on as a companionship and as individuals and things like that. Well, Sister Davidson started and she was telling me all these things she liked about me. But at one point she mentioned something, I can't remember exactly what it was, but it had been something I was struggling with this week. So I just let it out, I started to cry. There was something built up inside me for a long time that I didn't even know was there. All of a sudden I realized that I didn't have all this confidence that Sister Davidson thought I had, or that a lot of people thought I had. So we talked for a long time about it and Sister Davidson really helped me to gain a little confidence in myself. I've come to realize that I'm struggling with teaching lessons, not sure if I'm following the Spirit or my own wants and things like that. It was just a very hard thing for me to realize. I try to put on this happy face but really, I'm struggling.
Well, there's a lot more to that Comp. Inventory but I'll write about that later because it happened on other days as well. On Saturday the 11th, we went and helped out with an Eagle Scout project for someone in the ward's troop. We helped plant fruit trees at a local company place where it's open for the public to just come and learn all these educational things. And that was cool. Jonathan isn't a member of the church but it's cool to see how much he loves going to scouts with the boys in out ward and how much support he has from the ward.
Then we went home to clean up after that and Mama J was there! She was there only for a little time because she and a couple other people were getting things ready for her to come home in a couple weeks! YAY!! We were so excited to hear that!
Then during our Companionship Study that morning, we had another Comp. Inventory session. This time it was for both Sister Davidson and I. We both are struggling. We don't really know why but we are. It's hard! We are trying so hard to be good missionaries, to be exactly obedient, and to follow the Spirit but we don't feel like we having any success. I have learned a lot about myself this last week. There were things that I was holding inside me that I didn't even know I needed to let out. I'm so thankful to my Father in Heaven for giving me a companion that is intune with the Spirit that she knows when I need to talk. She knows exactly what to say and how to help me. (There are other things that I learned yesterday but I will share that next week since I'm running out of time to write now...)
So as you can see, it wasn't really the BEST week ever but in some ways it was. We may not have had success finding people who want to hear about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, but we found in ourselves, I really found in myself, a new light. Who knew I would be having confidence problems? Who knew that one little thing said would help me to get what I was holding inside, out? Heavenly Father did and I'm thankful for that! I don't know how much longer I could have gone on holding these things in. Would I have given up? Would I have had a melt down? I don't know, but what I do know is that Heavenly Father is real. He's listening to us! We may not think He is at times but He is! I've come to realize that this week. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me. He wants me to be happy. He wants me to have a good mission. He wants me to be successful in whatever I do in life. He's real! If I didn't know that, I don't know if I would be here on my mission right now.
Well, that's about all the time I have for now. We have to go have lunch and then get going with the day. This last week was hard, but I'm thankful for that! Blessings are trials, and trials are blessings!
Love you all!
-Sister Rachel Anna Wheatley
PS - Happy Birthday to Natalia Hernandez tomorrow, thanks for letters this week from Sister Gren and Emily Sabins, and good luck to Aaron, or should I say Elder Wheatley, as he prepares to enter the MTC tomorrow! Love you Aaron! You'll do amazing things in Peru!