Well, from the title of this email I'm sure you can guess that I have been sick this week! :( I have had a cold since Tuesday night and it has not been fun. I spend the morning hours during our study time sleeping and I get out and go to work the rest of the day. There was only one day that we came in early because I was just too exhausted and sick to keep going. But I pushed through and I'm at the tail end of my cold, which is a good thing because I'm supposed to be singing this coming Friday at our Mission Christmas party. Not sure how that's going to go but we're going to Arcadia this afternoon to practice with the other Sister's I'm performing with. My voice is no where near beautiful but I gotta practice and pray that I'm all better by Friday... Prayers from back home would be great as well, for both me getting better and also me singing. I'm really scared. I have really enjoyed singing to members on my mission but to have to sing in front of the WHOLE mission, I'm a little scared! But we'll see how it goes!
Anyway, to get started with the week... Monday the 3rd was transfers. It was a good day! We went to Arcadia at 10:30 am and spent a couple hours there with all the missionaries who were either leaving or who were being transferred. My new companion, as I mentioned last week is Sister Amataga from Samoa. She is awesome! We are having so much fun together and working hard! She tells it like it is and that's good because I don't. But she does it in a loving way to everyone we come in contact with.
Then Tuesday the 4th we spent the day walking around in one of the areas in our ward. Sister Butler and I had decided that we would spend a couple days during each week before Christmas, walking around in areas and just contacting people and giving them The Living Christ handouts we have from the First Presidency as a Christmas gift. So we spent all day doing that and that was fun. We talked to a few people and also invited them to the stake Christmas Concert this weekend and it was just a lot of fun spending time talking to people as we walked around.
Then that night, we had a lesson with our investigator, Jose. During our studies in the morning, we felt strongly that we needed to ask Jose to be baptized on December 15th. So we had a lesson on prayer and talked about his reading from the Book of Mormon and at the end of the lesson, Sister Amataga committed him to be baptized on the 15th. Well, he told us that he had been thinking about it all week and that he was going out of town on the 17th and wanted to be baptized before than! So it was perfect! The Spirit was definitely there and it was just so exciting! Well, later that night he text us and said that Brother Pocock, the member in our ward that he lives by and is really good family friends with, is going to be out of town until the 16th. We thought maybe we could have him baptized right after church on Sunday but Brother Pocock doesn't get home until later in the evening and that night is the stake Christmas concert. So that doesn't work. But we met with him yesterday and we set another date for January 12th! So we are excited and so is he! :)
Then Thursday the 6th was a good day... I woke up and got already for the day and we went to take the seminary kids on a church tour, request of Brother Jimenez their seminary teacher. So we did that and it was very good! But after we got home, I went straight to bed instead of doing my studies. I was just totally exhausted! So I took some DayQuil and was out! But we had Zone Meeting that day so I got up at 10am and we went to the stake center. I didn't want to be there because I was so sick but it ended up being a good meeting! And after the meeting I was putting chairs away and one of the Elders, I just drew a blank on his name...., came up to take the chairs from me and asked if I was sick. I told him yes and he asked if I wanted a blessing. I had thought about it earlier that morning but pushed that thought aside. But when he asked me, I figured I should probably take him up on his offer. And I'm glad I did! Because it really helped me that day to make it through! And he said something in my blessing that daddy said in his Father's Blessing to me the day I entered the MTC. So I thought that was really cool! I definitely know that that blessing was giving directly from Heavenly Father! It was amazing!
Then Friday the 7th, I still wasn't feeling well but we had our weekly planning to do and also we had a lesson with a less active. So I just pushed through and did what I could. Well, at the lesson with Sister Bowman, Sister Amataga's left arm was getting numb and Sister Bowman asked, "Do you have a heart problem? That's not a good sign..." Well, turns out that Sister Amataga, when she was younger, was diagnosed with a heart disease. So Sister Bowman told us that she needed to go get that checked. So after our lesson we called Sister Becerra and she told us to go see Dr. Lew. So we called his office and we ended up going all the way out to Glendale. We spent almost three hours out there. Now Sister Amataga has to have surgery because Dr. Lew doesn't see anything wrong with her heart but he wants to make sure. Not really sure what exactly is going on because I wasn't in the room and she can't remember everything but he will call Sister Becerra and we will figure things out. So, if prayers could be said for my companion, that would be greatly appreciated! I know she could use them!
Well, like I said earlier, yesterday (the 9th) we had another lesson with Jose and we committed him to baptism on January 12th! And we are all very excited! He has been in contact with the missionaries and has been coming to church on and off for two years and we talked about how he feels like two years ago there was no way he was ready to be baptized but now he really feels like he is! It was really cool to hear his testimony. It wasn't a formal testimony but it was definitely powerful! He knows that the church is true and is very happy! He was even excited when he asked if he could invited people to his baptism and we said yes! And on Tuesday when we talked to him, we were telling him how much of an example he will be for his father who is less active and his mother who is not a member and yesterday he said that his mother has said that she will start coming to church with him twice a month! So that just proves that his decision really is right! And he is just so happy!
It's such a wonderful feeling to know that I am helping to change lives! I know that I could not do this without the Spirit. Sometimes I feel like I am not at all filled with the Spirit, but then there are times like last night that I know for sure that the Spirit really is there helping me and I'm not alone. Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ are always there to help me. I am never alone! And that goes for each and every one of us. We are all children of a loving Heavenly Father and He cares to much for us to leave us alone. It's so wonderful to know that and to be apart of this wonderful work to help others come to know that! I know that this church is true. I know there is nowhere else in this world that I need to be at this time in my life then here in the California Arcadia mission. I have had too many experiences to help me know that! It's incredible that I get to get up each and every morning and go out and serve the Lord!
Well, I gotta go. We're going bowling and then heading to Arcadia so I gotta get going! Love to all of you! Thanks to Celeste Hernandez and Sister Gren this week for letters! :) And a Happy Birthday to Aunt Lucinda tomorrow! Love you! I believe that's the only birthday this week. And Happy Anniversary to Durrell and Brandi this coming Sunday. One year! Whoop whoop! Love you both! :)
Love always, Sister Rachel Anna Wheatley