Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Busy Bees....

Enjoying her ribs at a member's home
Re-enactment of my first district picture.  Sister Davidson and Elder Linford were going home. Elders Durfey and Williamson were at the office for transfers so we took another picture together.  Just sad I was not in my proselyting clothes (we were going to wash the car while at the office)
Sister Ackley and I with Sister Davidson before she left for home. Davo spent 11 months of her mission with just the two of us!
First of all, I forgot to tell mom last week that we were going to have Zone Conference yesterday so that's why I didn't email yesterday. Sorry about that. I know mom was updating her email every two seconds to make sure she wasn't missing an email haha
Secondly, Happy Birthday this week to my Uncle Dawain (today) and Uncle Micah on the 28th. He gets the best bday present ever, having his daughter come home from her mission! And also to my cousins Perry and Michael the III. Love you all!
Speaking of Mariah coming home, WELCOME HOME!!!!! It's been so much fun serving with you these last 11 months even though we were across the pond from each other. I know that I have said it many times but thank you Mariah, for your example! Love you so much!
Wow! This week went by so fast and it was so good! We got a lot accomplished this week. We have been busier than I've ever been on my mission and it's so wonderful! (Yes, I just read the email from Bubba and I feel like I'm copying what he wrote but I'm not...)

So, to get started... Last Monday the 18th was such a good day!!! Sister Amataga and I went to the mission office to say goodbye to Sister Davidson, my trainer, and to wash and vacuum out our car. We spent about two or so hours there and it was nice. We sat with all the Sisters that were in the office and we just laughed and talked and had fun. I don't think I ever stopped laughing while at the office. I think everyone was getting annoyed of it... JK But it was fun. Sister Davidson and I sat and talked about all the good times we had while we were companions. I just can't tell you how fun it was to just sit and relax and enjoy one another's company. And Sister Ackley sat with us and talked and yeah, it was fun! haha But then it was time to say goodbye to Sister Davidson and that was sad. But no sad tears. She has this really cute picture of the two of us right before she left of us laughing. I'm so thankful that I was able to learn from her for six months of my mission. She will never really know how much I learned from her but I did learn a lot! She's been a great example to me the last year.

Then on Wednesday the 20th, we did a booth at Citrus College again. The new semester started and there were a ton of people around. Plus there were a lot of other booths around. Sadly we ended up leaving earlier than we wanted to because for one thing, we had a Jehovah Witness come up and talk to us and he kinda made things not so nice and also, a radio station was in the courtyard and they were playing loud, not-so-good music and the Spirit was just not there. But hopefully this week will be better and we can get some good contacts out of it!

Then that night, we went over to a part-member/inactive families home and talked to the 12 year old daughter, Mackenzie and her mom. Mackenzie has been coming out to church for a long while now and we felt, and the Bishop has asked us, to teach Mackenzie the missionary lessons. So we asked her a couple weeks ago at church but we needed to get the permission of her parents. So we went over that night and talked to her and her mother and she gave us permission to teach Mackenzie. Vanessa said that when she and her husband were younger, they felt like they were forced to go to church and they didn't want that to happen to their children. So growing up, Mackenzie went to church with her grandparents in the Glendora 1st ward and her great-grandparents who are in our ward and so she just keeps coming back. So we got permission and we set up a time to meet with her! We were so excited! Mackenzie is a great girl and has such a strong testimony and I know that it will help her and her family.

Then Friday the 22nd we spent a few hours over at the church helping set up for the Women's Conference that was happening the next day. And it was so fun to set it up! It was a Victorian type feel and I loved it! (It's something that I might consider as decorations for my wedding someday ;) It was very simple but very elegant and beautiful!

Then that afternoon we had our first lesson with Mackenzie. It was super good and the Spirit was so strong. I'm not a fan of committing someone to baptism in the first lesson even though Preach My Gospel tells us to but we have talked about it a few different times with Mackenzie so we felt like it was ok to set a date with her. She said yes so we set a date for Sunday March 24th. It's so exciting! And she's really happy!

And after our lesson, she asked us to help her prepare a talk for Sunday. The Bishopric asked her to speak in Sacrament meeting and so she needed help. Her topic was knowledge and it was fun to be able to help her. I'm not good at writing talks but together the three of us came up with some good ideas and she went home and put it together and she gave an amazing talk on Sunday!

Then that night for dinner we went over to the Ingram's. Their son, Matt, is in our singles ward we are over and he invited us for dinner. It was such a fun night! We didn't stop laughing all night. And come to find out, Brother Ingram owns a catering business and he said if I came back after my mission, I could work there! haha :) I couldn't stop thinking about what Sarah said to me in high school.... "Rachel, I could see you working out in Hollywood one day!" He said he's done a couple big weddings and he was even in the movie Matilda. If you remember that movie, his place is where they go to eat dinner in the fancy restaurant and all the cake and stuff flies everywhere. haha So cool!!! :) But it was just such a fun night with tons of laughter (I won't tell you why we couldn't stop laughing but I will tell you it was because of something that happened to me since I've been on my mission... and just other funny things that were said that night by everyone.)

Then Saturday the 23rd we were able to go to the Women's Conference at the stake center. SO good! The theme was angels and it was just amazing! I'm sad though because we weren't able to go to all of it because we had to go do some missionary work haha But we went to the beginning and the end of it and it was just awesome. We don't talk a whole ton about angels in the church so that's why they had that as the theme. It was awesome! Basically the major message I got out of that was that we are all angels in our own way and we have a loving Heavenly Father who sent all of us here in this world to be one another's angels. It was cool!

Then after the conference, we went to La Verne to sing at a memorial service. We got a call on Friday night from Becky and the Elders and they were having a memorial service for a friend of Becky's and her sister Olivia's (who lives in La Verne) and they were going to have Olivia's wards primary sing but they had to cancel so the Elders in Olivia's ward, Elders Duerson and Smith, and I sang a couple songs and then Sister Amataga played the piano. It was a great service and the Spirit was there. It was sad though because their friend, Linda, who passed, was raising her granddaughter and at the end of the service, Charlotte got up and said a couple things and it was just heart wrenching. She was in tears and could hardly speak. She's only 9 or 10 years old and it was just so cute! But it was hard because you could see the sadness and pain she feels now that her grandmother is gone. But, she's been going to church with Olivia and her family (not sure she's baptized....) and so she basically bore her testimony saying that she knows she will be able to see her grandmother again. It was just beautiful but sad.

And that night we had THREE meals, one right after another. One was lunch but it was a late lunch and then we had dinner with a family in our ward at 5pm and  then we had a dinner with Brother and Sister Lancaster in the Heritage ward with the Elders. Sister Lancaster works in Chino Hills and Davo and I met her while we did service there and so she had us come to dinner with them. It was so fun! And the food, DELICIOUS!!! We had RIBS. Yes, RIBS! Would I have been caught dead eating those before my mission, yes. But I have come to LOVE Ribs (which could be a dangerous thing when I get home and want to go out to eat......) And these were so good! They just fell of the bones and melted in your mouth! Yum! But, I was so full by that time that Sister Amataga and I only ate a little and then we had to take the rest home.

Then Sunday the 24th was such a good day! Church in both wards was amazing and then at 5:30pm we had a baptism for Henry and Peter. It was so awesome! The Spirit was strong there and it was just good. The ward gave them a lot of support and Brother Ding baptized his sons, which was really cool. After being inactive for six years, they have been coming back to church for about two months and he was able to baptize his sons. It was just a very good service!

Then that night we went over to the Jacobson's and Brother Jacobson is a chiropractor and he's been helping Sister Amataga with her arm since she fell in December while bowling and he helps me too. He's worked on my feet a couple times and this time he told me "I'm going to work on you too." And he cracked my back and neck. It was so nice! I have been in need of some "back crackage" as Sister Davidson would say, and it felt wonderful! Then they showed us pictures of their trip to Isreal and told us about it. It was awesome! To get to see these pictures of places where Christ walked when he was on the earth. They were telling us all about it and I just felt like I was there myself. It was so cool because they were just pictures but I felt the Spirit so strongly! It made me want to go to Israel one day and walk where my Savior, Jesus Christ walked. Can you imagine?! I can't! But it was awesome!

Well, that's about all for this week. But I will end with this. On Saturday at our first dinner appointment, I was giving the Spiritual thought and at the end I was bearing my testimony and out of my mouth came something like, "Before my mission I didn't know how I could make it for 18 months. I felt like 18 months would be an eternity. But as I am now just a couple weeks til I reach my six months til home mark, I realize that 18 months isn't long enough. I am just now "getting it" as one of our AP's, Elder Nielson, said. I don't want to go home yet. I was always told that with six months left on a mission you will feel like you are just then learning and doing the right things but I just kinda laughed and brushed it off. But now that I'm at that point, I realize how true it is. I don't have much time left. I go home soon and I don't want to leave this work behind feeling like I didn't do anything. I have six months left and I am going to work harder than I ever have." And it's all true! In about two weeks I hit that point of six months left. I don't want it to come yet because I feel like I just now "get it." But I know that my time is almost up and I'm not going to let it slow me down. I have seen miracles happen all throughout my mission and I know there are more just waiting to happen!

I have a love for this work that I honestly never thought I would have. But the more I'm out here serving the Lord, the more that love comes. I know with all my heart that this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is THE church that Christ set up while He was on the earth and that it was restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that it is true with all my heart! I don't know how I could still be out here on my mission if it wasn't true. I just want to shout it from the top of a high mountain where everyone in the world can hear it. Whether they are a member or not, active or not active, I just want everyone to know of it's truthfulness. It had changed me in so many ways. I have learned and grown in ways I never could have if I was at home. If I had one wish granted, it would be that the people I love the most, my family and friends, members, non members, and members who have fallen away, would pray to their Eternal Father in Heaven to have that witness of it's truth. I would never need anything else in this world if I could see those I love being baptized and going to the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity. I know this to be true and I'm so thankful for my parents, leaders, friends, and family who have taught me my whole life of it's truthfulness. Thank you, every single one of you, for your examples you have been in my life. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love always, Sister Wheatley

Stake Women's Conference - table decorations

Sister Davidson and I -- gonna miss my trainer and friend!

Henry and Peter's baptism with their parents

Sister Amataga and Iin our sweet-awesome matching shirts.  All the Sisters that came to the office last Monday thought our shirts were way cool.  Plus, we have matching rings from Becky and Mike for Valentine's Day. Just matching all around :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Transfer #9

Well, transfer calls were this weekend but thank the heavens above, Sister Amataga and I are staying together!!!! We are so happy! To be honest I was almost positive that I was going to be transferred. Things are going WONDERFULLY here and I just knew that I was going to be gone and I was so sad. But I am very happy that we have another six weeks here together in the Glendora 5th and Glendora 6th YSA wards! Good things are happening and coming!

District Picture
Well, I will try to make this short because we have very little time to write because we are going to Arcadia today to say goodbye to my trainer, Sister Davidson, who goes home tomorrow :(

So to get started... Last Monday the the 11th we were supposed to have dinner with a part member/inactive family in our ward but they had to cancel because of something that came up. I was bummed! But we have a raincheck so we have to set that up again!

Then Tuesday the 12th we did a LOT of walking. We had to pass out Mormon Next Door fliers and that took us a couple hours going from house to house putting them on doors. But it was nice to be out walking and getting to talk to people along the way. President's commitment to me at interviews has really helped me. I haven't talked to five people every day like he asked but I try! Sadly there aren't a lot of people walking around in the middle of the day and I just don't feel good about two girls walking around after dark in the evenings so yeah. But it is helping me!

V Day with Sister Russell and the Butler's
Then we had an AMAZING lesson with our part member family we are working with. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they had a lot of questions and they also had good answers and comments and it was just amazing! At the end of our lesson, their inactive son, Jonathan, asked what time church started and he really wanted to come! And Sister Moon said that he needs to help them all get to church. Sadly we didn't see them on Sunday but we aren't giving up and seeing them someday at church! They are so close to coming! I just love this family! I can see them going to the temple within the next two years and I'm just so happy that they all want to turn their lives around and be better!

Then we had our lesson with Henry and Peter who are getting baptized this coming Sunday! They are so incredible. They have a very good knowledge of the gospel for being so young and not active for as long as the family was. So it's so fun to teach them!

OK, the finger thing is a joke because
of something the Elders did and we couldn't stop laughing at it
Wednesday the 13th was good! We didn't do a whole ton but we met with the zone leaders and discussed how we can have better success in the YSA ward because we are really struggling. But it's looking up there. We had two non members at church yesterday with their friend who's in our ward and we are going to call them today to set up appointments to meet with them! We are so excited about that. They were in our Gospel Principles class yesterday and they gave great answers!

Then that night we went over to our less actives, Sharron, and started teaching her the lessons again. She hasn't been to church in about a year or longer and she loves the church and the people but we think that us teaching her the lessons again will help her have a better understanding of the gospel and will help her to come back to church. And she was very nice to have a lesson with. She knows a lot but sometimes it's hard for her to explain. But we love her and keep going to see her and helping her to come back! The whole ward loves her and wants her to come back so we are hoping soon!
Red tongues from the Petite Sour Hearts...THANKS FOR THOSE!

Rach with Elijah, Becky's grandson
Then Thursday the 14th, SAD (Singles Awareness Day) or as some people call it, Valentine's Day ;), we had a district meeting which was good and then we did more Mormon Next Door fliers haha That was our biggest push this week and it was a good turn out (will talk about that later...) But for dinner that night we ate with Sister Russell and the Butler's. Sister Amataga was so sad when we got our dinner calendar and no one signed up for Valentine's Day, I wonder why... :) But she said something to a few people, haha, so we got dinner! And it was so good! We had this delicious Shrimp dish! Yes, Shrimp! I ate Shrimp! And I love it! We have it all the time out here! It's delicious! I really have expanded my food likes. It's funny what I love now and didn't love just one year ago :)

With Sister Wilson from the Carbon Canyon Ward
Then Friday the 15th we had a really long planning session! We got a big map of our ward boundaries so we spent a couple hours home made laminating it. Staples and Office Depot could only laminate things 24 inches and our map was bigger so we had to laminate it with packaging tape! I love packing tape now! It's my new best friend! I use it so much as a missionary to laminate things!

Not much happened Saturday the 16th. We had a meeting with our district leader and in the morning made cookies for the Mormon's Next Door thing on Sunday. Speaking of.... Mom, everyone LOVED the Ginger Snaps!! haha So thanks for the recipe. Sister Beck forwarded it on to a couple people who asked for it. So you are famous with that recipe even all the way out here in Glendora California!! :)

Sister Davidson and Rach with their convert, Rose
Then Sunday the 17th was a good day. We had church until 3:30 and then a lesson at 4, the Mormon's Next Door presentation at 5, and then the missionary farewell in Arcadia at 6:30. Church was incredible! Our lesson went really well and the Mormon's Next Door was awesome! President Becerra and our stake President, President O'Bryant put it on and they did awesome! We had to leave part way through to go to Arcadia but there was such a good turn out there! We had about 75-80 non members there. We sent out about 40,000 (maybe that's an exaggeration but it was a big number) of fliers so I have to say, I think that was a great turn out for it! Then the missionary farewell in Arcadia was awesome! I wasn't able to go at first because we didn't have investigators or recent converts to take but I got permission to go if Rose, mine and Sister Davidson's convert from Carbon Canyon, went. And she called during church yesterday and said she was going! So Sister Amataga and I got a ride with the Powell's in our ward and we were able to go! I was so happy! And I was doing great until Sister Davidson got up to bear her testimony. She told a story that made me cry and then as we were singing the closing song, God Be With You Til We Meet Again, I wasn't crying but then I looked up at Davo and she was BAWLING! So then I just let go and cried! I'm going to miss seeing her around the mission. She taught me so much while she trained me for six months and she is one of the best missionaries and friends that I know. But I'm glad that we got to serve together and that she'll be in Provo going to BYU so we can see each other once I get home. And after the testimonies, I went back with Rose to see Davo and a couple people from the Carbon Canyon ward were there and it was so nice to be reunited with the people that helped me learn and grow as a missionary. So yeah, it was a little sad to be there because it made me miss Chino Hills but I love the people here in Glendora just as much!

with Brother and Sister Williams from Carbon Canyon Ward
Well, I forgot to check birthdays this week so happy birthday to anyone and everyone who's celebrating this week. Gotta run but will talk to you all next week! Love you all tons and tons!!!

Love always, Sister Rachel Wheatley
With Brother Apgar and his daughter Jessica from Carbon Canyon Ward

With Ryan from CVYSA ward and Elder Nielson -- awkward picture!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Interview Week!

Heyo everyone!!!

This was a very good week! It did have a rough start when on Monday we contacted our investigator in the YSA ward to make sure that we were still on for our lesson on Tuesday and he said to us, "I can not meet with you anymore. I thought you were Christian. I am Christian...." NO!!! It made us so bumbed! We told him that we ARE Christian but he doesn't want to meet with us anymore. It was just so sad! It's interesting because I told him when I first met him that we are Christian, that we worship Jesus Christ, and when we took him on a chapel tour, we told him that we are focused all around Christ. But for some reason he doesn't think we are Christian. It makes us so sad because the only thing we can think of is that he talked to someone and they talked him out of meeting with us. It was just a total bummer!

Well, now to start talking about happy things... Monday the 4th, we were lucky enough to have Sister Duvall in our family ward look at her grocery ads and find us good deals for shopping. Then she took us out and we went shopping! We were very happy because we only spent $30 total! It was nice! And we have a lot of food! We went home and I cooked our hamburger and other foods while Sister Amataga cleaned the house. It was very nice! Now we are saving money by not going out and we are eating A LOT healthier! So that made us happy :)

Well, Tuesday the 5th we were supposed to meet up with Sister Harker and Sister Synderrgard to do exchanges early but Sister Harker had a meeting so we kept pushing it back so we didn't do exchanges until about 8:15 pm that night. And right before exchanges, Sister Amataga and I went to a less-active members home that we hadn't seen in a few weeks. When we got there Sister Lupton was home (she's a nurse so she has weird hours of work...) so we were able to go in and see them. We love the Lupton's! They are so sweet! We just go and see them and share a little message with them and say a prayer and we hope that they will come back to church sometime soon. I think the biggest thing with them is that they had jobs that make them work on Sundays and so they got out of the habit of coming to church. So we are hoping that we can help them to come back sometime soon! They are wonderful and the ward loves them and they seem to have testimonies of the gospel so we just hope to see them come back to church. Then we went to the church and did exchanges.

Then on Wednesday the 6th, Sister Harker and I did a lot of work! Not like Sister Amataga and I don't do a lot of work but for some reason, we got a lot done and saw people that we haven't been able to see since I got here about four months ago. The biggest happiness of that day was when we went to the Cutler's home. We were on our way home for dinner but Sister Harker and I looked at each other and said, "Let's just try one more." So we got to the Cutler's and they let us in. Brother Cutler has been inactive for many years and his wife and daughters are not members of the church. They were making dinner and they asked if we had had dinner. We said we were just on our way home and Sister Harker said, "Yeah, Sister Wheatley made a bunch of good food!" So we started talking about how I love to cook and Sister Cutler said she wanted to learn something from me. So I told them that I make some killer Chicken Enchiladas and that I would love to make them for them! They said yes and we set up a dinner with them for tonight. President Becerra always tells us to use our talents and no one ever takes us up on it so when they said yes, I was so happy! (Plus I had been craving my enchiladas for a while but had no reason to make them and didn't want to spend the money to buy the ingredients....) Anyway, it made me happy that I was able to use my talents finally and that it was with a less-active/part member family. So we were planning a great night but yesterday they called and said they have to reschedule :( That made me sad but I'm not giving up hope that we can have dinner and a FHE with them.

Then Thursday the 7th we had interviews with President Becerra. So happy! I know Sister Amataga and I just had an interview with him about a month ago but it always makes me happy to meet with him and learn from things that he says. We talked a lot about many things but something we talked about is how quiet I STILL am. I think I am coming out of my shell but as we were talking, I realized that I'm still really quiet and I really need to come out of my shell and talk! So, President gave me a commitment to talk to five people a day for 14 days. Sadly I have only gotten about three people per day but I'm trying and I think that's the purpose of it, to try harder than I have been. So it was really good! There were a lot of other things that we talked about but couldn't write them all down in this email and neither would I want to just because they were really personal to me. But it was so good to have another interview with President!

Saturday the 9th we went out early and met Brother Ballard, our ward mission leader, at the church because we were handing out The Mormons Next Door fliers that our stake are putting out. There's a big presentation that President O'Bryant (the Glendora stake president) and President Becerra are putting on to help neighbors, friends, and random people understand us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe and that we are normal :) So we had sections of the ward boundaries and gave them to people as they came up. It was cool to see how many people came out to help us with this. Of course we still have more routes to do so Sister Amataga and I are probably going to be taking them and doing them this week.

Well, the last couple things to talk about.... Yesterday, Sunday the 10th was a very good day! We got up early and went to Ward Council and it was so good! We have a lot of things happening in the ward and everyone is so willing to help us as missionaries and all of the members in the ward.

Then we had three investigators at church, plus Auntie Pam was there which from what happened last week and her dropping the lessons, we didn't think she would be there. BUT she was there and she was also called to serve in the Young Women's program! So things are looking up again for her! We also had a potential investigator there. There's a family in our ward who are less-active/part member and we went over a couple weeks ago to see them. Their daughter Mackenzie has been coming out to church and mutual activities almost every week and so we want to see if she wants to take the lessons. We saw her after sacrament meeting and talked to her about it and she said that yes, she would really like to take the lessons and be baptized. So because she is underage, we have to ask her parents for permission. But we, along with the ward council, think that her parents will say yes. They of course have their agency and can say no, but the fact that they let Mackenzie come to church and mutual, we think they will allow her to take the lessons. So that was really exciting! And when we mentioned it to Mackenzie, you could see in her eyes that she really wants it! So prayers are going up and hoping that her parents will say yes.

Then that night we had another lesson with our two new investigators who we thought were baptized when their family started coming back to church. We had a really good lesson with them and then we had dinner with their family. It was Chinese New Years yesterday so they made this authentic Chinese New Year meal. It was good. I can't lie. Everyone knows how picky I am but it was a pretty good meal. We of course are not used to their food though and they had tons! I don't eat a lot so I stopped half way through dinner. Sister Amataga on the other hand wanted to try all the foods but then ended up getting sick. I felt bad. I wasn't feeling the best either because we aren't used to their foods but I wasn't feeling as bad as Sister Amataga. So we made one last stop before going home and we were hoping she would get better, but she didn't. So we went home and called it a night (it was about 8:30 pm)

Anyway, it was a pretty good week! I am opening up a lot more and amazing things are happening in the ward!

Before I end, thank you to Mark and Marta Zacheis for another letter and also Allie Parrott for her letter! And happy birthday this week to my cousins Katie Monnier and Ammon Wheatley!

Love you all so much!

Love always,
Sister Rachel Wheatley


Well, not a whole ton happened this week... It was actually not a very good week work wise and companionship wise haha Sister Amataga and I get along SOO well but for some reason this week we were at each others throats! It was horrible! We had a couple major disagreements and one turned into something it shouldn't have. BUT!!!! Everything is good now! We talked it out and we are back to how we have been the last two months. So we are happy :) It was just weird that it happened because we get along so well, it was surprising to both of us.

Anyway, done with the sad part of the week... On to more happier things :) Tuesday the 29th was pretty good! We didn't have much to do during the day but we had two appointments at 4:00 pm so we went on splits and that was good. I went and taught the Moon family with the family ward ward missionary, Mary Ellen. She is leaving on her mission in March (she is going to Daejon Korea.) And it was really cool to go with her. She shared her testimony and it was way powerful. She's going to be a great missionary. We taught about faith and did a really cool object lesson with a tea bag and fire. So we shared a couple scriptures but the one that we used that is one of my favorites is Ether 12:6 where it says "...dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." And it was really cool because their son was out while we were there and at the end of the lesson he said, "I really needed that scripture. Thanks!" It's really interesting how the Spirit works. I always worry when we go into a lesson with them because I want to help them come back to church and to have Sister Moon have the desire to enter the waters of baptism because I know what a difference it can make in their lives. So when they say things like that, I breathe a sigh of relief and send up a prayer of thanks to my Father in Heaven. It's just incredible!

On Thursday the 31st we had to wake at 6:15 am because we were going to teach Sister Whitworth's seminary class again. And it was so good! We read in Acts 6 and talked about how Christ's disciples chose seven other people to help out the widows of the church. So we had to talk about why they needed assistance and how we can be of assistance to the apostles and prophets in these the Latter-days. It was a good lesson. Although I was really tired ;)

Then later that night we went to the Relief Society activity and while there, Sister Hyer grabbed my arm as I walked past and said, "Pam is taking a break. Something happened and she doesn't want to continue with taking the lessons right now." I just wanted to cry and fall to the floor. There's a quote in the Preach My Gospel manual by Elder Holland that says something about how we, as missionaries, our first reaction when an investigator says they aren't keeping their commitments, they want to be stop taking lessons, etc. will be devastation. I have not yet experienced that as a missionary. I get sad when our investigators aren't keeping their commitments or they just chose to not meet with us again, but when Sister Hyer told me that, I finally felt the devastation. I went numb and didn't know what to say or do. I tried so hard to not cry in the middle of the RS activity. I couldn't believe it. Auntie Pam was doing so well and was getting so close to baptism, what could have happened? So that night as I was saying our companionship prayer, I started to pray for Auntie Pam and I just started to bawl! I was just having a hard time knowing what happened. The only good thing about this though, is that Auntie Pam is saying many heartfelt prayers and is doing this for herself and not for anything else. So that's what's good about all this. It's just hard because we love Auntie Pam so much and we want her to enjoy the blessings of the gospel now. But I'm sure with many prayers and fasting opportunities, Auntie Pam will get the answer she needs at this time in her life. It was just hard to hear from Sister Hyer.

Well, also that night we had a sleepover at the Whitworth's! Actually, we had a four day sleepover at their house :) Sister Beck's daughter and son in-law (who happen to be in David and Valerie's ward in Orem...) were staying at Sister Beck's before heading off to Hawaii, like everyone else in Utah from what I hear... Anyway, so we needed to leave for a couple days and so Sister Whitworth let us stay at their house! We were so happy :) They have a beautiful home and it was just fun. We really enjoyed our time there, even though we weren't home most of the day and it was just nights that we were there haha :)

Well, Saturday the 2nd was a good day. Not a whole ton happened that day but in the evening, we didn't have anything to do and I felt like we should go contact a young women in the ward who comes to church almost every week but has not been baptized yet. Her father in less active and her mother is not a member. Bishop Whitworth wanted us to contact her and everytime we tried going to her house, she was never there. We were just going to go to mutual on Wednesday nights and contact her but the last couple weeks we haven't been able to go. So we felt like Wednesday was a good night to go visit her and she was home! So we went in and got to know, not only her, but her mother and brothers as well. It was nice! She loves coming to church and mutual and so we are hoping that she will want to take the lessons soon. We just wanted to get to know her a little the first time meeting her.

Then yesterday, Sunday the 3rd was a VERY good day! Yesterday was the Glendora stakes conference. I was so excited! I love conference times and to top it off, President and Sister Becerra were speaking at stake conference. And it was no different than any other time President and Sister Becerra speak, just wonderful! Sister Becerra talked about Elder Holland's talk from General Conference and President...wow I just drew a blank to what President talked about... Maybe it wasn't that good ;) JK It was! I have my notes at home, I just can't remember right now...

Then our stake president, President O'Bryant spoke for only a few minutes (he kept calling people up from the audience to bare their testimonies.) He said he had a talk prepared but he felt like he should talk about something totally different (he talked about hesitating.) When he said that, I held my breathe because I had been praying that our investigator who was there and who is holding back from being baptized for some reasons, would have a spiritual experience from one of the talks. So it was just way cool that I had been praying for a talk like that, and I feel like that was exactly what needed to be said!

Then after conference, we were standing around waiting to talk to President Becerra and Bishop Whitworth came up and said, "What are you Sisters doing at 4:00??" We had nothing set so we told him that and he said, "Perfect. You have an appointment with the Ding family tonight." Turns out that this new family who have been in the ward for two years but their records didn't come with them because they have been inactive for six years, their two sons, ages 12 and 9, have not been baptized yet. So, we now have TWO baptism dates for the end of February! We are so excited! Not just because there are two baptism dates but because that means two more of God's children who are choosing to follow the example of Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, and be baptized so that they may one day return to live with Christ and our Father in Heaven again! So exciting!

And that's about all that happened this week. It was a very hard day but it turned out wonderfully! This coming week we are hoping that things look up for the singles ward, which we are still struggling with but aren't giving up! We have a couple potentials for the YSA ward but have to get green lights from their friends who are in our ward. So we are praying that happens this week!

Other than that, not much more to say. Just working hard in the most important work on the face of the earth! I feel so bless to be apart of this work! I can't believe that this week I hit 11 months. Time is going by so fast. I got an email from Mariah today and at the end she said "Go out and kill it your last few months, it goes by way too fast!!!!!" And it's so true! She comes home at the end of the month and that's just crazy! I don't have much more time left before I'm in my last couple weeks and I need to continue working hard and helping to bring as many people to the truth as possible! It's hard when people use their agency and turn from the truth but when we see those ones that enter the waters of baptism, it's just amazing!

Thank you to Mark Zacheis for your letter this week. And happy birthday to my cousin EmmaLee today :) Love ya!

Thanks for everyone's love and support over the last year! I love you all so much!

Love always, Sister Rachel Anna Wheatley