Hello dear family and friends! I can't believe it's already the 17th of December! This month has gone super fast! It's going to be 2013 before we know it!
Anyway, here's a rundown of the week that we had! It was a very good week!...
Monday the 10th, after a very stressful morning of running around getting laundry, groceries, and pictures printed, we enjoyed a fun time at Panda Express and Chaparral Lanes with the Elders and Rob from our ward. This was all part of my birthday present from the Elders (and my companion got to come along and be paid for also... The benefits of being with someone on their birthday haha) It was a ton of fun! But, the sad part of the day is that it was Sister Amataga's first time bowling! So we gave her a few pointers. We even told her "Do NOT go past the line." But.... sadly she went past the line and totally slipped and hurt her arm! It was really funny because we kept telling her all these things and then she went past the line. But it was sad because she ended up not bowling anymore that day because she hurt her arm so bad. Now that we all look back on it we can joke about it but it was sad to see her in so much pain. Turns out she has a bad bruise but that's it. She wasn't able to use her hand for a couple days and it ended up being in a sling but she is now able to use her arm. It still hurts her but not as badly as it did the first few days.
And after we went bowling, we went to Arcadia to meet up with some of the other Sisters to practice for the Mission Christmas talent show. I was nervous because like I said last week, I was sick and my voice was gone! But I was able to get through practice and I just kept praying all week that I would be feeling better by Friday so that I wouldn't have to back out at last minute.
Tuesday the 11th, my birthday!, was a good day! I woke up and as I was getting ready for the day, I got a phone call from Sister Butler and Sister Harker who sang Happy Birthday to me! Then I got a couple texts from some of the Elders and our investigator. Then after I was done getting ready, I debated whether I was going to open my package from home right then or if I was going to wait until lunch time. I decided to open it right then! And I'm so glad that I did! Thank you mom for such a stinkin cute outfit! And yes, it fit me so well! I absolutely LOVE it! I even changed my clothes from what I was wearing so that I could wear it that day! haha
Then as we were out during the day, everyone we would come in contact with, Sister Amataga would tell them it was my birthday. I got a little "mad" and embarrassed but it was nice to get so many birthday wishes. So I'm kinda happy she told people :)
And that night we had dinner with the Benson's and I didn't tell Sister Benson that it was my birthday. So after dinner, she got the brownies that she made for dessert and then Sister Amataga blurts out "It's Sister Wheatley's birthday!!" You should have seen Sister Benson's face, I thought she was mad at me for not telling her it was my birthday! haha She then hurried and grabbed the candles and said, "I'm a firm believer that everyone deserves to be sung to on their birthday!!" I guess I won't lie... It was nice to get sung to on my birthday! I just don't like being the center of attention so I didn't say anything. But I'm happy I got sung to!
Then when we got home that night, there was a birthday card and present from our district leader and his companion. And then Sister Beck got home from Israel that day and she got me a beautiful scarf! So I was very well taken care of on my birthday. It was a good day!
Oh, and the Zone Leaders called us that morning and told us that President Becerra called them on Monday night and told them that they are now sharing the Young Single Adult ward with us, so they called us to tell us. Happy Birthday to me... haha I'm happy to be serving in the YSA ward. I have heard a lot of good things about this YSA ward. I'm nervous though because we'll be splitting our time between each area and I don't want to slip up in anyway with either of the wards. But I guess I just have to make sure that doesn't happen. So it will be good!
On Wednesday the 12th, the ZL's asked us to come with them to Citrus College to do a booth. So we went and while there, we asked the students to take a survey about their beliefs in God. And it turned out very good! I noticed that I would let about five people walk by before I would get the courage to talk to anyone. I'm just too shy and don't like going up to people! You would think that being out on my mission for nine months would have changed me already but it hasn't. Haha But we all made some really good contacts that day and hopefully this week Sister Amataga and I will have a couple church tours and lessons with the students we talked to.
That night we also had a meeting with the YSA ward mission leader so that was good. We split the ward so that it makes things easier. The Elders are going to focus on the guys and we'll focus on the girls. So that will be good! We are very excited to get started working with them!
And finally, that night we went to visit Jack and Lori. Jack is a less active and Lori is our investigator. We haven't had contact with them in almost three weeks and I was starting to get worried that they weren't interested anymore. So we went over there and Jack came to the door and walked out to talk to us. We just went by to see if everything was ok and Jack said, "Don't give up on us. We haven't given up." I guess the last few weeks have been super crazy with their business and it was just nice to hear him say that they weren't giving up. That gave me a lot more peace and comfort. And of course I would never give up on them! I know that they know the church is true. I have seen it when we go to teach them. But it was nice to hear it from him!
Then Thursday the 13th we had a very good lesson with our less active Lora. She is AMAZING! The Spirit was just so strong there. We talked about how sometimes we go through things that we don't understand why but Heavenly Father is always there no matter what. And she really opened up about a lot of things in her life. I just love her to death! And at the end of the lesson, we all decided that three times a week we would go walking together in the mornings for our exercise. So that will be fun for the three of us. And it will help us to get to know her even more and to help her with whatever she's struggling with.
Then Friday the 14th was a very good day! Oh my gosh! It was just amazing! We went to Arcadia super early and practiced with the Sisters for our Christmas party that day. I was having a hard time with one part of the song (we sang The Olive Tree... I had never heard it but it's an amazing song!) But we did as much practicing as we could and then I had to leave it up to Heavenly Father to help me through. And He did! So I'm very thankful for that. And the rest of the day was just amazing! We had so much fun together as a mission. There were so many "talents" that we went an hour and a half over what we thought we would spend there. But it was so fun! I got tons of videos of the talents. It was just nice to relax and have fun! We had no worries what so ever. (Except for that everyone was trying to figure out who the "special visit" was going to be from that day that we never got because we went over time... My guess was Donny and Marie Osmond because someone that works for Marie was there with her mission companion from their missions LOL but probably not... But when she got up and bore her testimony and President Becerra made her tell us what she does for a living and she said she works for Marie, the whole mission thought it would be them since they were in LA last week haha) And the Spirit was there throughout the whole day! I have to say, it was a very nice way to spend Christmas this year (even though it was a week and a half early...)
Well, Saturday the 15th brought a lot of service! The Elders called us and said that they needed us to come help them at St. Dorothy's Catholic Church. So we met them there and the people in charge told us that each winter they do a homeless shelter in the San Gabriel Valley at many different churches from November til March and this coming two weeks are St. Dorothy's turn to host. So we helped them move things from room to room and put together a boutique where the people coming can get clothes while they're there. It was very cool to hear what they do to help those in need!
And along with that, the lady there asked Sister Amataga and I a ton of questions about the church because she had never talked to Mormon missionaries before. So while we were doing service, we got to teach about what we do! She couldn't believe that we take 18 months to two years out of our lives to do full-time service for the Lord. But I have to be honest, since I'm half way through, it doesn't even feel like that long. It feels like it's only been a couple weeks. It's going by so fast! But I am loving every good, bad, sad, happy second of it! :)
On Sunday the 16th we went to the YSA ward for the first time. We were welcomed with open arms and it's funny because the Sisters in the ward are so excited to have Sister missionaries again! And then last night we went to the Glendora Stake Christmas Concert. They said they have been doing this for over 40 years and it was so good! They have a youth choir and then an adult choir and it was nice! I really liked it!
Well, that's about all that happened this week! It was a good birthday and Christmas party week! And I'm excited to get started working with the YSA! Good things are coming :)
To end, Happy Birthday to Dad today, Grandpa Kuznicki and Nicole Wheatley tomorrow, and Renata Skousen this week! I think that's everyone! Love you all tons!
Hope everyone gets all their Christmas shopping done in enough time but that we all also remember the real reason for the season, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Until next week (Christmas Eve)! Love you all so much!Love always, Sister Rachel Anna Wheatley