Monday, March 4, 2013

Week of Miracles

Can you even believe it?! This week, Thursday, I hit my YEAR MARK!!!!! I don't feel like it's been a year, it's gone so fast! But it has been one of the best years of my life! I have learned so much about myself and about the gospel of Jesus Christ and I really never thought it would come like it has. I just have loved it! Like I said last week, it's coming to an end so fast and I don't want it to come yet. I'm just now getting into the groove of things and I know there are going to be amazing things that will come in these next six months. It's just crazy how much has already happened! Life changing experiences that I will treasure for eternity.

Now to get started with what happened this week. One thing is a MIRACLE!!! But let's start with Monday the 25th. Crazy day! And the crazy part all happened before 10am! We had zone conference in Chino on Monday and we left at 8:15 am because we needed to be there by 9am. Plenty of time to get there early. I have to start out by saying how much I dislike the fact that California has a million freeways... I accidentally took the 210 freeway east bound when I really needed to take the 57 south bound. Ugh! While we were on the 210, I was not recognizing the road. I drove that road to Arcadia for seven months while I was serving in Chino Hills so I know what the drive looks like. Well, we finally got into San Bernardino county and saw signs for Upland.... Totally different mission! Dang it! (Yes, I have a GPS but President asked me if I could give it to a Korean Sister who is training in a new area....) So we called the Elders and they had to tell us where to go. Well, little did we know that the 210 and the 57 DO NOT connect  so we had to get off and go find the entrance to the 57 and that took us 20 minutes! So we were on our way and all of a sudden I realized that we needed to take the 71 freeway and I missed it. So we had to pull off in the middle of the freeway and call the Elders again asking what to do. It took us about 15 minutes of being on the phone before they finally just said, "Tell us where you are, we are coming to get you." I was totally embarrassed because I was just going to a church that was in an area where I served for SEVEN MONTHS!! I felt so dumb! So it took the Elders 15 minutes to get to us and  then it took us that long to get back to Chino. Ugh! I was so mad at myself! I couldn't believe I was needing Elders to come save us. Now, it wouldn't have been as bad but I wasn't feeling well at all so being sick just added to the drama.
So we finally got to the church building that we needed to be at and because we were late, we made everyone else wait for us. So embarrassing! haha BUT, it was a wonderful zone conference so that was good! And not only that but it was with the Chino zone so I got to see Sisters Carrell, Lehman, and Butler. It was nice! And the stake RS in Chino were serving us lunch so I got to see Sisters Knecht and Williams! So that made me happy! Anyway, it was just so wonderful! The Spirit was so strong the whole conference! I especially loved that we took time and got into our districts and read Enos in the Book of Mormon and got to discuss it verse by verse and we only got to like verse seven in 10 minutes. So cool! And then at the end of the conference, President brought us all into a smallish room and we had a Q&A session. Just so awesome! Can I just say how amazing President Becerra is?! Love him!
Then on Tuesday the 26th we were doing laundry at a members house and we get this text from a potential investigator that said, "Hi Sisters!!! I think it's time for some lessons!" Umm... We were so excited! This text came from Jen, who is Becky's daughter in-law. The night of transfer calls a couple weeks ago, we were at their house and she said that if we don't get transferred, she wanted to learn from us. Well, after they were sick for a week, she just randomly texted us! Whoop whoop! So the next day, Wednesday the 27th, we went over to her house while she was home with her two kids alone and we taught her. She had a couple questions for us that led us right into the Restoration lesson. And I basically taught the lesson by myself because Sister Amataga was keeping her son, Elijah, entertained so Jen could focus. Well, we were there for TWO hours! We aren't usually supposed to be at appointments for that long but we really didn't have any other plans for the day and we didn't feel bad about being there. And to be honest, when we looked down at the phone to see what time it was, none of us thought it had been two hours. We thought maybe an hour. So that was crazy how fast it went!
Well, like I said, I was teaching the lesson (Sister Amataga would interject every once in a while when she had something to say) and I was telling Jen about Joseph Smith and how he restored Christ's church. I quoted what's known as "The First Vision" and she started to tear up. Then she asked a few more questions and as the discussion went on, she said, "You know, I've been to a lot of churches. I've almost become a Jew because I thought that was the closest I could come to Christ's religion. I almost became a Jehovah's Witness. I have almost joined a number of churches but none of them have felt right. As I've been listening to you, a hunger that I have felt for a long time has started to fill me." OH MY HECK!!!
Seriously?!?! I'm not gonna lie, I've always wanted to have this kind of missionary experience but never thought it would happen. I just thought they were stories. But no! This was happening right before my very eyes. I just started to cry! It was incredible! And yes, the Spirit was incredible throughout the whole two hours. Basically all I can say now is WOW!

Then on Thursday the 28th, just a little something... We were supposed to go to Citrus campus at 8am to do the booth for all the morning students and then the Elders would come after studies and take over. Well, we didn't leave til about 8:15 or so and by the time we got to security it was almost 8:30. I grabbed my wallet to get my license out and IT WASN'T THERE!!! I started to freak out! I had no clue where it was. Sister Amataga and I looked EVERYWHERE in the car and couldn't find it. On the way back to the house we thought of all the places we'd been since I last saw it but couldn't figure out where it could be. Well, I went home and looked in one of my bags and couldn't see anything. So I finally got down on my knees and prayed to find it. I looked around the room for a minute and then decided to go back out to the car to look. I looked under my seat and there it was! Miracle! Not sure how the heck it got under my seat but it was there and my prayer was answered! Just another witness that Heavenly Father is there watching out for and listening to me and my needs, no matter how small they are.

Then that afternoon we went home and made cookies! I love being a Sister missionary! haha We felt like we needed to do something different for our investigators who we haven't seen in a while and also for the less actives we haven't seen. So I was very happy to make cookies! I was bummed because I wanted to make Chocolate Chip cookies but sadly we didn't have enough chips. But because mom sent Sister Beck her delicious Gingersnap recipe, we were able to make those and take them around to a couple people with either a General Conference talk or a little quote. It was awesome and I was happy to be making cookies :)

Then Friday the 1st I spent a lot of the morning in bed because I was not feeling well at all. I had been sick for a week and wasn't really getting better. But then we had a couple lessons and we had to get going. Then I was so sick of being sick and down, I said a little prayer to help me as we walked that afternoon because it was "No Car Friday" and all of a sudden I got feeling a lot better! So wonderful!

Then that night we went over to Jack and Lorie's house to give them cookies and a card with a little quote. Lorie has been investigating the church for about five months but we haven't been able to see them because of the holidays and their work schedule. Well, last week we went over and found out that they were moving. So we brought them cookies and wrote in the card that we hope they continue to take the lessons and that one day Lorie will get baptized. Well, before we even said anything, Jack said that he was at their new house that day with the movers and they were sitting outside in the garage and the SISTER MISSIONARIES showed up! Really, Heavenly Father?! You are just incredible! They were walking the area and when they saw Jack outside, they went and talked to him and the movers. He let them do their "spiel" and then said something about the Celestial Kingdom and the Sisters started to laugh and asked if he was a member. He said yes and that his wife was investigating. So, they told the Sisters that when they get settled, they want to start up the lessons again. So dang cool!! It just made me want to cry! I was so happy! Miracle!

Then on Saturday the 2nd we met some of the young women from the La Cresenta stake in Arcadia and they went out with all of us Sisters in the mission. So we took around Heather and we went to help at Jack and Lorie's, we helped them pack up his mom's books. So it probably wasn't the missionary work that she was looking forward to but that's what we do! haha And it was fun!

Well, that's about all that happened this week. Saturday night we went out with the Nielson's to Olive Garden (which was delicious and if you've ever been to OG with me, I ALWAYS get the Bruschetta... But not this time, I am branching out! I know, blows your mind right?! haha) Well, while we were there, Sister Nielson told us a story of when she was on her mission in London while they were filming the last Harry Potter movie. She had a story about her and her companion (mainly her companion) finding out when and where they were filming a part of the movie and they went and waited all day to just hopefully get a glimpse of and meet "Harry Potter." Ok, I was cracking up at her story because I felt like it was me with one of the bands that I love! I really wish I could tell it over email but I could never tell the story as well as her. BUT if you have the last Harry Potter DVD, she said that her companion was being chased by the security at the train station because she had her camera out. Well, I guess this chase is on the extras in the DVD. So if you've ever seen it, it was a Sister missionary in London who was being chased. I was cracking up!

Well, yeah, that's about all... Not more to say. It was a good week full of miracles! And I'm so happy for this coming week to happen. I don't know what will happen, but I know that it will be full of more wonderful things! :)

Oh, before I forget, Happy Birthday to my cousins Hayden Wheatley and Matthew and Jordan Tharp today. And to Jamie Webb on the 6th. I think that's all for birthdays this week??? And thanks to dad and Sam for your letters in the last couple weeks and mom, I did get the package from DB so thanks! :)
Love you all so much!

Love always, Sister Rachel Wheatley

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