Monday, January 7, 2013

I survived the end of the world 2012!!!!!

Good morning family and friends! There's not a whole ton that happened this week... But what did happen was amazing! I just have to start off by saying that I have the BEST mission President ever! I know that's what every missionary says, but it's true! President Becerra is truly amazing! He is always right there and ready to help whenever we need it. I just love him and am so grateful for him!

Before Bed...
Now to start off with what happened this week... Monday the 31st was a very sad day for me... I didn't get to watch my annual Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve in Time Square *tears* haha ;) Just kidding, I wasn't too sad! We had our weekly dinner with the Powell's and Elders Gwilliam and Duerson and then sat around for a bit until it was time for Sister Amataga and I to go home. When we got home, we did our planning, got ready for bed, and had a little too much fun with the camera (hence the pictures this week...) Then we had our lights out by 10:00 pm and we were gone! haha I slept through the New Year (at least I was able to keep that tradition this year ;))
Huge eyes and a smile!

Then Tuesday, January 1st, 2013!!! we spent the morning looking through the Area Book that the Elders gave us on Monday evening. I said last week that they weren't going to be at the singles ward for a while because they are so busy in their family ward, so they gave us all their potential investigators, investigators, etc. We made a long list of who we wanted to go see this week and that took some time. Until later in the day we text them and asked when they were going to set up pass off lessons for us and they called and said that they talked to President Becerra and even though they are busy in the family ward, it's best if they stay in the YSA ward also. So we spent a couple hours looking through the Area Book for nothing!! Just kidding.... We ended up meeting with them later in the day and they told us we could keep the records of the people we wanted to go see. haha So I guess it wasn't for nothing, it turned out good!

BYU fo shizzle...
Then Thursday the 3rd we had a crazy weird District Meeting. I won't go into details but at the end we had a very long talk about needing to be more focused in our meetings and taking things more serious. We do what's called "Role Plays" where we act as if we are an investigator, less-active, or just some random person on the street and we try to get inspiration for how to best approach situations and lessons with people. Well, it's kind of an awkward and funny thing to do so not all the time are we the most serious about them (for anyone who has been on a mission and had to do role plays, I think you will understand...) So our District Leader asked what he can do better and then it just kinda turned "bad" (for lack of a better word...) So after the meeting, Sister Amataga and I went home and we had a very long talk about things. We talked about how we haven't been the most obedient missionaries (I know most missionaries don't tell every detail of what happens but because this is also my journal, I'm writing lots. And for anyone that has seen my journals, you know that I put too much detail in sometimes haha) Anyway, we talked about how we can do better to have better success as missionaries. If you look at our planners, you can see that we don't have many lessons taught. I think I mentioned that we were at the Hartwig's a couple weeks ago and their son sent home some of his planners and when Sister A. and I looked at them, we felt like horrible missionaries because they had 15-20 lessons a week and we have like.... maybe 3. So that was hard for us.
Samoa 2013 Baby!
Well, long story short, we ended up calling President Becerra and set up a time to meet with him the next day. After doing that I felt SOO much better.

Well, Friday the 4th came around and we drove to Arcadia and had our meeting with President Becerra. It ended up being shorter than we wanted but it was all good. Like I said at the beginning of the email, I really have the best mission President! While talking to him we told him so much about how we were feeling and about things that were holding us back and it was just wonderful. He helped us to understand that it's ok. The past is the past and we can now be better than we ever have been. It was just so nice to have a much needed "pep talk" from President Becerra about how we can better ourselves as missionaries. At the end of our meeting, I walked out of his office feeling as if a big burden had been lifted off my shoulders. He also said that he wanted to come to some of our weekly planning session that day but he had to run and do something else real quick so he would call us on his way back. Sadly he called us and said that what he was doing was taking longer than he expected and that we would have to reschedule. At the end of the phone call he said, "Sister Wheatley, I love both you and your companion. You two are great missionaries. Now put your heads down and go to work!" So that's what we did... Sister Amataga and I being funny, "put our heads down" and went to work haha But in all seriousness, we did! And we have seen miracles already from it! It's just incredible!

Just being funny!
Oh, I forgot to tell you about something that happened on Thursday night... There's a lady who used to be in the Glendora 5th ward who is trying to buy a house in the ward again but while waiting for the offer to go through, she's staying at a friends house. Well, I felt like we should go see Toni and her friend Dotti that night. So we went to the house but neither of them were available. But Dotti's daughter and her son let us in and we talked to them for a good hour and a half. At first it was just Laura asking Sister Amataga about Samoa but then Laura asked us exactly what we do as missionaries. So we kinda explained it a little and then she asked even more questions. Well, all her questions led to us teaching her a mini lesson on the Restoration! It was awesome! She had all these questions that she didn't really feel she knew how to get answers to. So we taught her a little and gave her the Restoration pamphlet to read. Then she told us that we could come back this next week and she wanted to learn more! So that was really really cool! Even though Thursday was a crazy weird day, it ended up being a blessing! We had a powerful lesson that answered so many questions! It was truly awesome! Heavenly Father really does watch out for His children!

Well, continuing with Friday the 4th... Jose has been in Guatemala for a couple weeks and he got back on Wednesday so we set up a lesson for Friday afternoon. We are just finishing up with the lessons before his baptism THIS SATURDAY!!!! We taught about following the prophet, studying the scriptures, and praying always. It was a great lesson. We didn't have our DVD though about President Monson called "On the Lord's Errand" so we got one yesterday and will give it to him on Tuesday. He loves the fact that there is a prophet that leads and guides us today and it really made sense to him how important a prophet is when Sister Amataga did a visual for him (I wish I could explain it over email but I don't know how it would come across...) This DVD is really good and just tells what kinds of things President Monson does and what a prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does (if you haven't seen it yet, you should check it out... It's really good!)

Then we went to the Hyer's and talked to Sister Hyer about us coming to Family Night's every Monday even though we are also over the singles ward. The Hyer's have some really good friends that have been coming to FHE's and are even more interested in the church than ever before and Sister Amataga and I feel like it's more important to be at these FHE's than anything right now. So we are very excited! We are actually teaching the lesson tonight so that's cool! We love the Hyer's and their friends and are so happy that they are really wanting to come unto Christ.

Well, to end the week, we spent about a total of 10 hours in a church building yesterday, Sunday the 6th. I have never spent so much time in church buildings! Since we are over two wards now, we have six hours of regular church meetings and then we stayed and talked to a couple of the YSA girls who are going on splits with us this week. Then we were supposed to have a meeting with Bishop Whitworth of the family ward but another one of his meetings ran late. Well, his wife is a seminary teacher and she was worried about how she was going to set up for seminary for today since the family ward is now at 9:00 am. So Sister A. and I went to the Relief Society room and set up her chairs. And while doing that, a family came to the church for a baptism for another ward and this family is Samoan and the father was part of the Samoa temple presidency a few years ago. So we talked to them for a little bit because Sister Amataga knows them. Then we went to dinner and then had a meeting with our ward mission leader and then rushed back to the church for our lesson with Jose. Well... Jose forgot and fell asleep so we called him and waited for him to come haha He ended up being about 30 minutes late (which was ok) and then we had our lesson that lasted an hour. So there ya go... That is why we spent almost 10 hours at church buildings yesterday! haha But it was good! The Spirit was amazing during church and the Spirit was still there that evening. So that was nice!

Well... that's about all that happened this week. Crazy week but in the end it turned out wonderfully! Thank you to Jane Merritt for you letter! It was so good to get it!

I hope that everyone had a good New Years and that you all are keeping your New Years resolutions ;)

Love you all so much!

Until next week....

Sister Rachel Wheatley

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