Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ONE YEAR say what??

 Well, this last week I hit it -- that year mark! I know I said it last week but I just can't believe it! I texted my MTC companion that day and it was weird to wish her a happy year mark. I feel like we just got out here. Anyway, because I said that last week, I'll start writing about what happened this week...

Tuesday the 5th was a pretty good day. We did A LOT of walking but it felt so good! I can't wait til it gets even better weather and we walk more. But I'm not looking for the heat of the summer. That's the bummer with being in California, only a couple weeks of PERFECT weather... Anyway, we had a good day and meeting with our new investigator Jen. She wanted to read 11 chapters of 1st Nephi by the time we met but didn't get that far. So we just talked about what she was able to read and then we talked about what she was going to read next. It was a pretty good lesson. Then we just did tons more walking and didn't have a ton of people outside to talk to but that's ok.
Having fun with my teddy bear

The sad thing though about that day is that we were supposed to have a lesson with the Moon family but we haven't been able to go over in three weeks. They never answered last Monday when we asked if we could come over on Tuesday so we just thought we'd stop by but no one was home :( We were really sad. They were progressing so well and then it just stopped. I don't know what happened but hopefully we can get back into their home and help them progress again.

Then Wednesday the 6th we had a lesson with our investigator Mackenzie. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and she really knew a lot about it. She basically taught us about it. So that was cool! And while we were meeting with her, we talked about her baptism on the 24th and asked who she wanted to baptize her and give the talks. We had told her earlier that her father could baptize her (if he started coming back to church) and she, without hesitation, said she wanted her dad to baptize her. So we said we would talk to the bishop and she had to talk to her dad about it. And that was cool because she started to cry a little when she said she wanted her dad to baptize her. She also told us that she wanted her grandmother and aunt in the Glendora 1st ward to give the talks. Well, to keep this a little short, that night we went over to her grandmothers house and talked to them about it. Turns out, they didn't even know Mackenzie was taking the missionary lessons until that afternoon. Apparently she likes to surprise people haha So we had a nice talk with them and found out that Mackenzie's father stopped going to church when he was 14 years old. That was a shocker to us because we thought he went til he was at least 18 so he could baptize her. But nope.... So then we had a little more work to do in order to get Mackenzie to be baptized by her father but we were up for the "challenge." (Will come back to this later...)

Then that night we went to mutual at the church because we thought Mackenzie would be there but she ended up not being able to go. Well, while there the YM/YW were putting together a video for the stake and the YW president asked if we could be in it. So we went around while all the youth were doing the Harlem Shake (haven't seen the original but their version was pretty awesome so I'm sure it is funny!) and we shook all the youth's hands. They didn't really understand why we were doing it because they were being loud when the YW leader told them what we were doing but that's ok... It was just a little awkward... But it was fun to watch this. Now I just want to see the original Harlem Shake. Plus, we are part of the program when all the youth in the stake show their videos so we get to go watch all these. We are pretty stoked! haha

Then Thursday the 7th was MY YEAR MARK!!!! We got up at 5:45 am and got ready because we were teaching seminary for Brother and Sister Stowell in the ward. And that was fun. I don't like waking up that early anymore but it was fun to go to seminary. I've always loved going to seminary and institute and going to help out as a missionary reminds me of how fun it was in high school.

We had zone meeting that day also and that was tons of fun. We learned a lot about how to contact people on the street and to teach them doctrine when we first talk to them (after getting to know them a little of course...) But that's something that we're really working on as a mission. And it was good!
About to burn my skirt as a tradition for meeting my one year mark!

Oh, before I forget a couple things. The zone leaders had a couple announcements for us that day and some of them were kinda "yeah, we knew that" announcements but there were two that were good and sad... Good news! We are now able to email ANYONE we want (as long as it's not someone of the opposite gender within mission boundaries without permission from President Becerra...) and we can email for as long as we want on Pdays as long as our companions are ok with emailing for just as long! haha That made us missionaries happy! But the sad news... Starting July 1, 2013, the Chino zone will no longer be in the California Arcadia mission :( It will now be part of the Rancho Cucamonga (sp??) mission. So I was sad to hear that since I served there. But to add to that, there will be between 12-16 missionaries from the Arcadia mission that President Becerra will be sending to the new Rancho mission in July. He said he is going to hand pick them, not even help from the Assistants on this one. I know that I shouldn't pray to keep me here but I have been. I know that no matter what, I will be put wherever I'm needed but I will be sad if I have to leave the Arcadia mission. By the time this happens, I'll only have two transfers left and so I don't want to leave. But I guess I shouldn't dwell on it because I know President Becerra will pray about it and he won't move anyone unless he is told by the Spirit to do so. I know I've been in Chino already but that doesn't mean it keeps me safe from the move. But we'll see what happens...

Then we did service at the Salisbury's that day and it was fun! We always love going over to their house :) And that night we went to the Hyer's to talk to Sister Hyer about an inactive lady that lives up the street from them who Brother Hyer home teaches. And while we were there we talked about Pam and Amanda and found out that Pam's mother passed away suddenly so that made us sad. We have come to love Pam and Amanda and it was just sad to hear that. And we talked about a lot of other things and we shed tears of joy and while talking the Spirit was there. I just love going over to the Hyer's because I can always count on leaving with a smile on my face and to have felt the Spirit at some point in our conversation, no matter what we talked about. Sister Hyer just brings the Spirit so strongly! Love her!

Then that night after we went home and planned, I grabbed one of my favorite skirts that has always been too big for me but I still wear it and I cut it up and burned it! I always wanted to burn a piece of clothing on my mission! It's the thing to do! haha So I was very excited! But I was scared at the same time... All I could think of was something going very wrong and the house burning down while Sister Beck was in Argentina... But luckily I have a companion who has burned plenty of things back home that she knew what to do and how I wouldn't burn down the house (we did it outside on the sidewalk but I was still scared something would go horribly wrong.) But it was tons of fun! haha And that's how I celebrated my year mark :)

My fingernail burned in this picture!
Then on Friday the 8th we had to cancel a lesson with our investigator Anthony because we couldn't find fellowship :( We were totally bummed because the last lesson we had went really well and we didn't want to cancel this one, but we had to. And then we went to Jen's again and taught her the Plan of Salvation. I was bummed because it wasn't as powerful of a lesson as our first one was. So I was worried that we messed up. But she asked a lot of questions and she made sure that she understood things. So that was good!

Then that afternoon we had another lesson with Mackenzie. We talked to her about the commandments and other things. Then we asked if she had talked to her dad and she said no. So we talked to her a little more about that and after our lesson, her mom picked her up and we talked to her for a second. Vanessa was wondering about what she had to do for the baptism so we just told her some basic things but that she didn't really have to do anything for it. But we did tell her that Mackenzie wants her dad to baptize her and that requires some things on Tommy's part. So we talked to Vanessa and she said she would talk to Tommy as well, after Mackenzie talked to her.

Then Saturday the 9th we did weekly planning (we didn't have the chance to do it on Friday.) It was a very long weekly planning session. I can't go into much details because I've been asked not to but there were some things that were holding Sister Amataga back and we spent a long time talking about it and trying to help her. To be honest, I always felt like something was holding the both of us back from being even better missionaries and the "comp inventory" that we had, really helped to let these things out.

Then the rest of the night we went to dinner, had a recent convert lesson with Henry and Peter, visited a couple less-active members and then went home and made cookies. (I owed the Elders recent convert cookies again because the last batch I made were way too dry. But these ones I made turned out good! The only thing was that they were too flat for my liking, but tasted like they are supposed to when I make them at home...)

Then to the part about Tommy and Mackenzie that I said I'd get back to... Sunday the 10th was a very good day! We had a very good ward council meeting and then a really good sacrament meeting! As Sister Amataga and I were sitting on the back bench, we were by the doors and all of a sudden Mackenzie comes in WITH HER DAD!!!!!!!!!!!! I got this HUGE smile on my face and I almost started crying. We had told Mackenzie that if she wanted her dad to baptize her, he'd need to come back to church and talk to the bishop and he did! After sacrament meeting I went up to Bishop Whitworth and told him that Tommy was there and then they went into bishop's office and had a little meeting. We don't know what happened or what was said but OH MY GOSH!!!! HE WAS AT CHURCH!!!! And to me that means something! Whether he's able to baptize her in two weeks or not, the fact that Tommy came to church means something! I was just so happy all day! That is such a big miracle! It's one of those big miracles but I know that Heavenly Father is there! It's the thing that makes my mission worth it! I just am so happy, still!

And yeah, I'll end right there on that happy note. I know that this church is true. I have seen so many miracles because of the gospel of Jesus Christ and it makes me happy to know that I'm lucky enough to be apart of this gospel. I have had so many opportunities to share my testimony since being on my mission and it makes me so happy. I never took advantage of bearing my testimony like I should have when I was home but now I will. I need to share it in as many ways as possible. And one thing I challenge you all to do is to share your testimony with family, friends, co-workers, anyone. Maybe not one like you would share in fast and testimony meeting but find a way to share it with someone, whether they're members or not, less-active or fully active. Sharing your testimony with others is a great way to strengthen yours and to help others strengthen theirs as well. I know that our Father in Heaven is there helping each one of us in all that we do and that He will never leave us alone. He's always there listening when we need someone to talk to. He's the best listening ear! I have gotten down on my knees many times and each time, He's there. And he will be for each of us if we go to Him. I know that Jesus Christ came to this earth to suffer and die for each of us so that we can return to Him and our Father in Heaven again. He knows how each of us feel at all times and He is also always there. Whenever we feel like we can't go on any longer, we can because Christ died for each and everyone of us. I know that though Joseph Smith was only 14 years old, he was chosen to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ and that President Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today. And I can't wait to hear from him and the other apostles in a few weeks at General Conference. I look forward to hearing the words they have for us that have come from Heavenly Father. I'm thankful for my family and friends, each one of you. Without each of you in my life, whether I've known you for a long time or a short time, without you, I would not be who I am today. I have been molded to who I am because of all of you. Thank you!

The remains of my burning skirt
And last but not least, I forgot birthdays this week but hope that if there are any birthdays, that you have a great day! And thank you to the van Os family for the card I got this week! I got it on Thursday so it came on the perfect day :) And CONGRATULATIONS to all those who are engaged or going on missions! Such an exciting time in all your lives.

Love you all so much!

Love always,

Sister Rachel Wheatley

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