Oh my goodness, this year went so fast! I can't believe it's already New Years Eve! Tomorrow is 2013!! WOW! Crazy! But so exciting!
Well, here's a little of what happened this week, not lots because of it being Christmas and people were either out of town or they didn't answer their doors LOL
Monday the 24th was a good Pday! Basically all we did was email, letters, and sleep. We took a three hour nap! It was so nice! We had an "appointment" at 3:30 pm but it wasn't anything really important (we were just going to a less actives house with the Elders because he's in our ward but we can't go to his house so the Elders work with him and they wanted to give him a Christmas gift from the four of us....) Anyway, I set the alarm for 3pm so that we could get up and get there in time and we slept right through it... oops... We felt horrible! When we finally woke up, we had four texts and a phone call from the Elders. Like I said, it wasn't like a BIG appointment but we felt bad.
Well, after we woke up Sister Amataga got to call her mom (a member in another ward saw us at Walmart and bought her a phone card) but it only gave her 14 minutes to talk :( But at least she got to talk to her for a few minutes!
And after that we went to dinner at the Bonds family! On our way over I was telling Sister Amataga that our family Christmas Eve tradition is pizza and that I would be so happy if I had pizza that night. But I knew that we wouldn't be. Well, we walk in and on their table is Hungry Howie's, a pizza parlor place! NO WAY!!! I was getting my pizza for Christmas Eve! It was so exciting to me!!! It's like she talked to mom or something LOL So we had fun with them and then we just had a little devotional about Christmas and I sang Oh, Come All Ye Faithful while Sister Amataga played the piano. So it was a very fun dinner! The Spirit was so strong as we bore our testimonies, sang, and the family bore their testimonies.
Then we went over to the Powell's for another Christmas Eve dinner! And that was good and there I was able to skype with my family!!! Yay!!! It was really weird to see everyone (except for Bubba)... But it was good! I really enjoyed it! It was the highlight of my Christmas! I was having a somewhat hard time not being home for Christmas but getting to see everyone was so nice and it made up for not being home.
Then on Christmas day, the 25th, we got up at 6:30 am and opened presents. We both got so much! Thanks to my family and my friends! It was a wonderful Christmas! We both got things that we wanted! Especially my footie pajamas ;) I wear them every night now! They are so stinkin' cute! haha
After that we went to the Stowell family home for Christmas breakfast. We had eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, potatoes and more. It was so good! They were all in their pajamas though and it made me want to run home and put on my new footies but I couldn't since I'm a missionary :( haha
Then we caught up with Elders Gwilliam and Duerson and went to brunch at one of their members homes, Gina. She has a daughter who's not a member and since we're over the YSA ward, we were able to go to meet her. The daughter is somewhat interested and so we just wanted to meet her and have her get to know us. And while there, Gina let Sister Amataga call her mom again because Gina has international calling. So Sister Amataga called again and talked to her mom for about 30 more minutes.
Then not much more happened that day (except for that I met Jeff Gelalich of the UCLA Bruins baseball team who was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds.... So that was exciting! (He's a member in the Heritage ward where the Elders live.)) But later that evening we went with the Elders again to another members house where we were having dinner. A less active in our ward, Becky, is the sister of this Sister in the Heritage ward and so we spent Christmas night with all of them. And that was fun. Except for that by 7:30 I was getting sick and everyone was saying how quiet I was being (which to me is just normal but apparently since I've been on my mission I'm a lot more outgoing.... Weird ;) and I guess I was getting white faced so we went home and I went to bed.
So it was a great Christmas! We had fun but it wasn't exactly what I thought it would be (read my email from last week...) But I can't complain too much. It was good and at least I had the good experiences I had about how I think of Christmas now :)
Well, Wednesday the 26th, Thursday the 27th and Friday the 28th didn't bring much more. We did a lot of visiting of the active and less active members in the YSA ward and we did service at St. Dorothy's. And on Friday we spent about 7 hours doing our weekly planning. It doesn't usually take that long to do but we sat down and pulled out our area book and called potential investigators that missionaries in the past had met. We called about 30 people and we had many say they weren't interested, they didn't live in California anymore, or they just didn't answer. We don't usually call people but these people didn't have addresses so that's why we called them. BUT out of all those people, we got one call back and he set up a tour with us for that Saturday.
Well, Saturday the 29th rolled around and we went out to Covina to visit a member, Valerie. We had an AMAZING talk with her! We talked a lot about faith and the Atonement and how they both work in our lives. She told us a lot about her and where she was a year ago and it was just amazing to see how much the Atonement really does help every single one of us! She's been through so much the last few years and to talk to her now is awesome! I wish I had known her a few years ago so I could see the difference but just talking to her I can see that change. And she taught Relief Society yesterday at church and she did an amazing job and she talked about one of the talks given at the Relief Society general broadcast given by Sister Linda S. Reeves titled "The Lord Has Not Forgotten You." And she shared that she was struggling the last couple weeks and when we text her to see if we could meet with her, she knew that God really hasn't forgotten her. It was nice to know that we are making a difference! We sometimes feel like we're not making a difference but it's times like these that I know that I'm doing the right thing. Whether it's helping people who are already members of the church or if it's people who have a desire to come unto Christ, I know that what I'm out here doing, is right!
On a sad note of Saturday, the guy we set up a tour with never showed up. We called and texted him but nothing. It was so sad! I just want him to know the truth and when he didn't show up, it made us sad. Of course we will call him this week again but we can only do so much. So we are hoping and praying that he ends up coming on a tour this week!
Then yesterday, Sunday the 30th, after church we were stopped by our ward mission leader and he told us that the Elders aren't in the ward anymore (they have a lot going for them in their family ward) and so we are fully in the singles ward! So, just like I was when we first got the ward, I'm a little scared but I know that good things are going to come from this! So that's exciting!
And yeah, that's about all that happened this week! It didn't turn out exactly like I was hoping but it was pretty good! And now it's time to work harder in 2013 than I have in 2012. I'm really looking forward to this new year and all that it will bring, not only for me as a missionary but also when I return home in September. There are things in my life that I know my mission will help me figure out and I'm looking forward to facing those things when the time comes. But for now, I'm a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I'm going to finish my mission on a high note!
Gotta run but I gotta wish Nate Wheatley a very Happy Birthday on Wednesday! And to anyone else who's birthday is this week... Sorry I didn't look at my list so I can't remember if anyone else has a birthday... Love ya Nate!
Love you all and until next year!! ;)
Love, Sister Rachel Anna Wheatley