Friday, December 7, 2012

Back to Bethlehem

Good afternoon!!! It is a beautiful day here in Glendora, California. After days of rain and cold, it is finally sun shiny out. So I'm happy!

Let's see what happened this week... Monday the 26th, the Elders text us and said that we were having a zone activity playing softball. I was so excited! I had been wanting to play baseball since I got here! So you can bet that Sister Butler and I were over there. She wrote tons of letters while I played and I really enjoyed it! I was good for another couple months haha

Then on Tuesday the 27th, oh man, that was an adventurous day... We drove to Glendale because President Lew (the mission presidency 2nd counselor) is a doctor and he was giving us flu shots. So we drove out there and it was so fun to see so many of the missionaries there. We have had many conferences lately so I've been able to see them more than normal but it's always fun when we get to see each other. And while standing in line, we find out that it cost $10 for a flu shot. Our dear Zone Leaders never told us that it cost money and I was out of money for the month so I stepped out of line and didn't get one... So now I'm praying that I don't get sick. But after flu shots, we had to go to the mission office in Arcadia and pick up a couple things and while we were there, Elder Olsen had to take our car to get something fixed so we were at the office for 30 minutes. And while there, Sister Butler realized that she left her bag in Glendale. So after Elder Olsen came back, we drove all the way back to Glendale to the church to get it. But the church was locked and everyone was gone. So we called the missionaries around the area but no one could come open the church for us. Crab apple... But as we were sitting there, a car pulls up and it was Sisters Harker and Amataga. Turns out they were serving in that area and they had also gotten a flu shot and President Lew, as he was leaving, saw Sister Butler's bag and took it back to his office. So we had to drive to his office and pick it up. We were both really hungry so across the street from the hospital was In-N-Out and Sister Butler wanted that so we stopped there and waited in line for 20 minutes. It was pretty ridiculous! haha I don't understand what's so good about In-N-Out haha And since I don't like In-N-Out, we found a Wendy's on my GPS and started driving when we got on this freeway and realized that it was taking us towards LA... Not in our mission. So we had to hurry and get off the freeway and head back towards home. It was a very crazy day! We didn't get back to our area until 2pm. It was a long morning and we were so tired because we spent so much time in the car. And because of all this fun adventure, we ended up going 115 miles on Tuesday... That's a little much for one day but it was funny! It's gonna make us look like we went for a joy ride around California! :/ But it was funny!

Also that day, we had an INCREDIBLE lesson with a less active/part member family in our ward, the Moon's. Sister Moon has been investigating the church for a few years or so and since I've been in Glendora, they have been really busy at their work so we haven't been able to meet. But we finally set a time and it was one of the best lessons ever. Sister Butler and I were really not sure what we were going to teach them but Sister Butler had been reading in 3 Nephi one day and felt like she should go back and ready chaper 11 and we used that chapter for the basis of our lesson. It was all about how we need to make Christ apart of our lives and what we need to do to have Him apart of our lives. It was incredible because you could really feel the Spirit and after the lesson, Sister Moon said that making Christ part of their lives is something that they've been trying to do a lot lately and that the scriptures we shared was exactly perfect! It was awesome! And then we left them a challenge to read their scriptures daily. It was just amazing! I can't explain it. Especially because Sister Butler and I had been having a hard time feeling the Spirit guide us to know what we should teach them. But we walked out with our jaws dropped in awe that it was such an amazing lesson. I'm so thankful to my Father in Heaven for sending the Holy Ghost to tell us what to do even when we felt like we couldn't feel the Spirit.

Then that night we had a lesson with Jose and then a coordination meeting with our new ward mission leader, Brother Ballard. He's a former Bishop so we are really excited to have him as our WML. He will be wonderful! We have a lot of good ideas of ways to help the ward with their missionary opportunities and we're making a new ward mission plan and things are just going to be so good here! I've very excited!

Then on Wednesday the 28th, we spent a ton of time visiting people and then in the evening, we went through our ward list and wanted to go visit people we hadn't met yet. There was this one name on there, Steven Dahl, who has not been active for years and so we went to visit him. It was interesting because the second he opened the door, he let us in without any hesitation. And we got talking to him and he said that he had been inactive since he was 17 years old but he doesn't know why. So we see some major potential there that he will come back to church sometime. He's a really nice man and his wife is super nice as well. So we are very excited to go back and see them. We hope that we can help him to come back to the fold and to help his wife come unto Christ.

Then not much happened on Thursday the 29th except for that it was the last District Meeting of the transfer so the Heritage Elders got some money from one of their ward members so they had us go buy donuts to bring them to District Meeting and that was fun! And then that night we went to the church where they were having practice for the ward Christmas party. Sister Edginton and the primary were in charge of it this year so they asked Sister Butler and I to be part of it as well. The theme of the party was "Back to Bethlehem" so everyone was dressed up in clothing from that time. So that was fun to watch them practice and to get fitted. We look crazy in our costumes but it was fun!

Then on Saturday the 1st, we had a very busy day. Sister Butler and I went out to IHOP for breakfast for "AP Saturday" and then we did a ton of service that day and went out and visited members on our ward list and potential investigators and former investigators. Then we went to the church at 4pm and helped finish up a couple last minute things for the ward Christmas party and we dressed up and took our places at the doors so that when people came in we could say "Welcome to Bethlehem. Make sure you sign the census so your family can be counted for and get your gold coins as well." It was so much fun! We had so many people there! The cultural hall was PACKED with people! And the program was amazing!!!! The primary did an amazing job! And at the end of the program, we joined the kids and adults in the program and sang the Hallelujah (ok, I don't know how to spell that word...) chorus. And that is one hard song to sing but the kids, OMGosh were amazing! They did really well. And the Spirit the whole night, so strong! It really took us back to Bethlehem and made us feel like we were there when Christ was born. It brought a whole new meaning of Christmas to me. I always remember Jesus and His birth but it was just amazing!

Then we went home after it was all done and did our planning, got ready for bed, and then sat and watched the church movie Legacy waiting for transfer calls. We have a special ring tone for the AP's and when it rang, neither Sister Butler nor I thought it was real. We did not expect for the phone to ring for us. But it did. And Sister Butler was being transferred to Glendale 1st ward and the Filipino branch with one of her former companions. So she was excited but very sad at the same time. And my new companion is Sister Amataga from Samoa! She's awesome! But we have to run and go get groceries before dinner tonight at the Powell's so I gotta finish here! It was an incredible week! We had a lot of good things happen to us this week. And I'm looking forward to this next week with Sister Amataga. We are going to have a very good week! Good things are happening in Glendora! I'm super excited!

And to end off my letter, a very Happy Birthday to Aunt Susan yesterday (the 2nd), Valerie Osmond tomorrow (the 4th) and Jane Merritt on the 5th! Love you all! And thanks to Renata and Brie for the letters and bracelet this week! Along with Sister Pack for the letter and Christmas tree, Mariah (aka Sister Wheatley) and Grandma and Grandpa Wheatley for the delicious Special K cookies! Love you all! Oh, and Sarah and Michael, I got your Christmas card this morning while at the mission office, so thank you for it! :)

Hope every has an amazing week! The church is true, I know it is! And I'm so thankful to be here on my mission to share that with others, especially this time of the year when we remember Christ's birth!

Love always,

Sister Rachel Anna Wheatley

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