Monday, June 24, 2013

Too many title possibilities... make a short subject line so I thought I would just write it all right here.
-Transfer #12, Area #2, Ward #4
-Heavenly Father's sense of humor
-Sister Trainer
-12 week program
-"Foster mom"
So there we go. All these crazy titles I could have named this. And yes, they are all true. I am staying in Glendora but was transferred to a different ward. But guess what... I'm staying in the same house and church building. I'm still not totally sure what my feelings are. I'm happy because I wanted to be transferred even though I love the Glendora 5th and YSA wards. I just needed something different and Heavenly Father definitely has a sense of humor because He sent me to the next ward. I can't stop laughing at His awesome humor. I'm sure He was laughing at me when I got the call from Elder Bangerter. But that's ok because it will be fun.
District picture: (L to R): Sisters Carrell and Denney; Elders Kappen and Gracia and Sisters Wheatley and Staker

I am also the new "Sister trainer" or whatever the new title is that they use. So basically I'm like a zone leader but I'm not an Elder so I can't be a ZL. I just get to go on exchanges with the Sisters so that's awesome! And I get to go to the leadership training councils and I've been hoping and praying for that because when Davo was sister trainer, she'd come home with all these sweet awesome things to tell me and I just wanted to be apart of those councils. So that will be super awesome! And it's cool that Heavenly Father trusts me enough to be a sister trainer.
Sister Salisbury and Rachel
I am on my 12-week program now :( So sad! I can't believe that I only have 12-weeks left. I was able to bare my testimony in the YSA ward yesterday and I just started to cry. Then at one point I remember saying, "I don't want this to be over. I'm not ready to go home." And it's true. I love my mission. It has really been a blessing. Everyone makes fun of me for being so trunky but yesterday at church while baring my testimony, I didn't expect to say that but I did. I just realized how amazing this missionary work is!

And my last title, I am a "foster mom." I finished training Sister Staker and now she's training!!! But now I'm finish training Sister Denney. She had two trainers in her first 6 weeks and now me. So she doesn't have a "mission mom." So it will be fun to have her as a companion. She's been in my district the last 5 weeks or so. She's a good missionary and I'm looking forward to it.

Rachel with Mike and Becky
Ok, now on to my real email... Lot's of possible unnecessary information for everyone haha :)

Monday the 17th was a good day! We had to cut our Pday short because we had a lesson with a potential investigator for the YSA ward at 3:30pm. It was a lunch appointment with this kid, Kamran and two recent converts, Andy and Hailey. It was super good! He knows who Christ is but doesn't have a firm foundation of Christ and His life and our life before we came to earth. So it'll be good for Sister Staker and her newbie companion. It was really cool to have this lesson. It was a sacrifice because it took away from our Pday but it was a sacrifice well worth it!

Tuesday the 18th we had a good day! We spent the day with a YSA member and had some awesome experiences! We had a last minute lesson with another potential investigator. It was just awesome! And to end the night, we were about to visit a less active member when the AP's called... SCARY!!!! haha I answered the phone and it was Elder Nielson. He asked to talk to Sister Staker and then he said, "After prayerful consideration, President Becerra has called you to be a trainer this next transfer." WHAT THE COOL!!!! Sister Staker is going to be training just three months after she's been on her mission. So happy for her! But when she got that call that's when I knew for positive that I was leaving the 5th and YSA wards. I was really sad even though I knew for sure that it was coming. A very bitter-sweet phone call and it wasn't even for me! hehe
Thursday the 20th was good! We had a very good district council where we talked about the importance of members. It really made me realize how important members are in missionary work. So everyone who reads this DO MISSIONARY WORK!!!! It's that important!

Saturday the 22nd was a fun day! We did service at the Gibson's to help them pack to move. They are a part-member family in the ward and they are just moving to a house in the ward. But it was fun to be able to help them. It was a packing party! We did four hours of service. It was crazy fun! And after that, we had to move back to the Whitworth's (we had to leave for the week because their son came home until Saturday night.) Plus Sister Staker wasn't feeling well that day so we didn't get a whole ton done that night because of it. But we did have a super awesome lesson with a less active member, Lora. It's been a very long time since we saw her and an Elder serving in the Heritage ward lives by Lora and he text us and wanted us to go by to see her because he used to serve in the 5th ward. We always put her name on our schedule but we hadn't been able to go over. But Saturday night I felt strongly that we needed to go and she was there! It was awesome because it's been at least 3 months since seeing her. The lesson/message that we left with her was so spirit filled. I feel like it was exactly what she needed.

Then that night, TRANSFER CALLS!!!! We got together as a district and we actually got our calls earlier than I've ever got them! It was only 9:20 pm when they came! I knew it was coming but when Elder Bangerter called, I was numb when he said I was being transferred to the Glendora 2nd ward. Like I said above, the 2nd ward meets in the same building as the 5th ward. So I'm excited. Sunday I thought I would be crying but I think the fact that I'll more than likely see many members of the 5th ward every Sunday, I didn't cry.

Then Sunday the 23rd was awesome!!!! Church was amazing! Becky came to church! In the YSA ward, I bore my testimony because Bishop Hatch was not too excited that I was being transferred. But it was good! Plus the YSA ward got out early and we as missionaries had to go out to El Monte to watch the AMAZING world-wide broadcast for new mission Presidents. OHMYGOSH!!!!! It was so incredible! I just could not believe all that was being said. I knew a lot was and is going to happen in the mission field but I just loved all the council that they gave us. I know that good things will come from that broadcast. I know that member missionary work is so important! So I hope that all those who watched it will help with missionary work! It really is important. It's not easy to do this work without members. Just like the quote that President Hinckley said that was used in the broadcast yesterday about how tracting/knocking on doors is not the most effective way. We need members! So please help with missionary work! Even if you live in Utah. It's interesting because the Provo mission is the highest baptizing mission in the church, go figure! So basically, there is still work to do even in Utah. If there is work to do in Utah, there is work to do everywhere! It's incredible!!! I never thought I would be this much into missionary work. But I am and it's so cool! I feel like I'm barely "getting" it. So basically, JUST DO MISSIONARY WORK!!!! Please :)

Rachel with the Hyers and Bramschriebers
Ok, now to finish yesterday. Because Sister Staker is done with her 12-week program, we got to go to the missionary farewell in Arcadia. And I was so excited to go! There were many people going home that I have served around. So I think that I wanted to go more for me because Sister Staker, I don't know how into it she really was but that's ok because I liked it! The funniest testimony was Elder Lindsay. He is the comedian of the mission. I loved his testimony because not only was it funny but it was also very spiritual. And it was exactly what I needed. Some things he said was that things don't just "hit" us. Then he gave an analogyish type thing about a cake. He said, "Quit opening the oven to see the cake because you'll have a flat cake in the end." And yes, that's exactly how it is for a mission. And it's exactly what I needed to hear! Gosh dang, he really made me think about the next 12-weeks of my mission. He then said something in the end that just made me cry. He was talking about how things don't just hit us and then he stopped talking for a minute, looked down, looked back up and was crying and said, "It just hit me." Oh my gosh, I cried! I realized how soon that moment is coming up for me. When I first got out here, I never thought it was going to come but now that it's so close, I'm freaking out! But I'm done talking about that! I'm ready to work super hard in the Glendora 2nd ward! This is going to be the best three months of my mission!

Well, we have to run back to Arcadia because Sister Denney left some things in her old car and we need them for tonight or we'll be in trouble with our lessons... And I have to still write President... yikes!
Love you all so much!

-Sister Rachel Wheatley

Monday, June 17, 2013

3 Months Say What?????

I cannot believe that today I have THREE MONTHS left on my mission!! It is just going by so dang fast! Too fast in some ways. Where is the time going?!

Well, I guess I'll write about my week and see where it actually did go :)

Monday the 10th we had a pretty good day! Got a lot done even when we had to go to the doctors for Sister Staker. Then that night we did exchanges with Sister Harker and Sister George! YAY!!!!

Sisters Staker, Harker, George and Wheatley
So Tuesday the 11th I spent the day with Sister Harker in Temple City! It was so much fun! I love Sister Harker :) I learned so much from her. And I loved Temple City! If I could be transferred there for my last three months, I would be very happy! We got to talk to a lot of members (the Sisters "pink washed" Temple City so they are barely getting to know the members.) We met a potential investigator and set up a service opportunity for them for the next day. I was sad because I wasn't going to be there to do the service and it looked like tons of fun and the lady was super nice!

We met up with the Elders later that day and had a lesson with one of their investigators and had a lesson on faith. Elder Howell was there on exchanges also and he did an object lesson using a mouse trap. They asked the son to put his hand on the trap and he was super scared. I was too! I had no clue what the heck was happening! I had never seen this one before and I was worried the kids hand would get cut off! Scary!! But it actually turned out super good. It was awesome! It's a much better object lesson then my tea bag lesson but I could never do it because I'd be scared I'd mess up.

Then Wednesday the 12th we had an after baptism lesson with Anthony. It was a very awesome! Then we had a tour get cancelled which was so sad! We really thought he would come and I thought he was really interested. We were totally bummed! It's not fun when we set up appointments and they don't show up. We were so excited! But that didn't get us down, we kept going throughout the day and had a couple really good lessons the rest of the day!

Saturday the 15th we had a memorial service in the morning for a Sister in the ward, her son. Then we left and went to do service at Becky and Mike's. We painted! It was so fun! I love painting! And we also had a really good recent convert lesson with Mackenzie! She taught us about the Word of Wisdom, the Restoration, and the Plan of Salvation. It was really cool to see her teach us from what she knows. Then we taught a couple of the commandments to her. At the end of the lesson, I was baring my testimony to her and telling her that I'm 99.9999% positive that I'm being transferred next Monday. Then she gave the closing prayer and at the very end she started to bawl! It broke my heart to see her cry. I have loved teaching her and helping her enter the waters of baptism and make those covenants. She is an incredible young women.

A peacock with its beautiful tail wide open
Then Sunday the 16th, that was a very good and emotional day! I was at church all emotional over it being Father's Day (everyone kept coming up to us asking, "So why don't you get to call home on Mother's Day and not Father's Day?) So I was a little bummed that I couldn't call home and also, I know that it was one of my last Sundays in the Glendora 5th ward that I have come to call home and so that made me sad.

Then in the YSA ward, Anthony got confirmed a member of the church and he got this AMAZING blessing from Bishop Hatch! The Spirit was so strong. When we had a lesson with him on Tuesday, he wasn't expecting anything amazing but he got up and his eyes were so wet! It was amazing! Plus, one of the speakers in sacrament was sick so they asked him before church started if he would feel comfortable bearing his testimony and so he did. It was one of the most amazing testimonies ever! The Spirit was just so incredibly strong! I couldn't believe how much Anthony has changed from when I first met him in January. The gospel of Jesus Christ really does change people for the better. It was just awesome! Something that I can't even describe!

Sister George and I
Another thing that happened at the 5th ward... I was sitting next to Sister Pocock who came to lessons we had with Jose. I was asking if she was going to be home this week because I wanted to stop by and say hi, or bye. .. She told me she wasn't going to be home and she asked why. I told her I was more than likely leaving and she started to cry. She told me that I opened up the gospel in a new light for her. She is changing a couple things in her life to bring her closer to the Lord and we both just started crying! It's funny because I came on my mission to bring others into the waters of baptism and here I am changing members lives. I have often wondered why I came on my mission. I don't feel like I have done a whole ton to bring others into the gospel but the more people I meet, the more I see why I did come. I don't have to baptize every month (even though it would be nice to baptize that often) because I'm helping others in ways I never thought I could! I am making a difference in peoples lives whether I know it or not.
I was trying to figure out what I could do to make the last three months of my mission worth it and something I wouldn't regret. But after yesterday, all I can think of to do is continue to be myself. I know I need to talk to more people and bear my testimony more and bring others into the waters of baptism, but if I just continue to be myself and love others for who they really are, I know that I'm changing lives whether I see it or not.

I know this church is true! There's no doubt in my mind. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the church. I know the Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today. I am so blessed to be here in California right now. I have made memories and friends for eternity! I never thought I would be here but now that I am, I can't imagine not being here.

Sister Harker and I
To whoever is questioning the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, I promise you with every fiber of my being that it is true. You will never regret joining the church! You have nothing to lose but everything to gain. To those who have strayed, come back! There's no better way in this life to make it back to our loving Heavenly Father then through the blessings of the gospel and the blessings of the temple. Let this gospel change your lives like it has changed mine! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love always,

Sister Rachel Wheatley

PS - Thanks to mom for the cookie package (the Elders are picking up my other package today when they go to the office...), and Renata and Jessie for your letters and pictures!!

Sisters Staker, Denney, Amataga and I

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Alright, not a WHOLE TON happened this week but it was a wonderful week!

Tuesday the 4th we had a lesson with Anthony before he was baptized! We went over the baptism interview questions and he bore his testimony to us during some of the questions and it was AWESOME!!!! To see him from the very beginning and the change that he made in his life, just incredible! He has such a strong testimony! He's going to be a very wonderful addition to any ward that he is ever in.

Sisters Staker and Wheatley, Anthony and Sister Amataga
Then after a couple other things that day, we went to a baseball game! Yes, a baseball game! I was so excited! Granted... It was for 7 and 8 year olds but it was still a baseball game!!! haha It was for our recent convert/part member family. One of the sons was in the finals for their league and to support, we got to go for 30 minutes. It was awesome! Tommy (the 8 year old boy) is awesome! He's a great baseball player. I really enjoyed it! But the reason we went wasn't just to go to a game. It was to show support and sincere interest in their family. This family is right on the edge and we just are trying to help them and do anything for them. I love this family and I can honestly see them all in white in the next couple years.

Then to end off the night, we had another lesson with Anthony where we just watched the movie, The Testaments. We wanted him to see a little more about what the Book of Mormon is about so that he can understand it a little better. So that was fun!

Wednesday the 5th was a good day! We met up with a Sister from the YSA ward, Esli, who is leaving on her mission next month and she spent the day with us. We did the booth at Citrus College and were about to go home for lunch when I felt like we needed to go to see Sister Snay in the G5 ward. I was pretty hungry so I almost just went home but would have ended up feeling really bad because when we got to her house she was outside with her daughters dog. We went up to see her and right away she said that she was locked out of her house. OH NO!!!! I'm so glad I listened to the Spirit telling us to go see her. So we spent a while outside her house trying to find someone in the ward to see if they could get us in somehow (all the windows have window stops so we couldn't get in...) But no one was answering or available so we decided that we better go to the church until her daughter go home at about 2:45pm. It was a long time to spend with her but it was worth it! I know she needed it and loved it!

Me in a Smart Car!!! One of my biggest dreams ;)

Sister Staker, Esli (from YSA Ward who is going on her mission next month), Sister Snay from the G5 ward and me
We got into a couple less-active/part-member family homes this week which was awesome because they have been families we have been trying to work with for forever and it was just awesome!

Thursday the 6th was a not so fun evening. We went over to our investigators house, Jen, to say goodbye. She and her husband, Andrew, are moving :( I was so sad! I didn't cry because she told me not to but it was hard. Miracles have happened with her and I'm just bummed that I can't be there to teach her more. I have to get her mailing address and call the missionaries out there. She said she'd email or call me when she gets baptized and I'm really looking forward to that! She said it will be before I go home so I'm counting on that! Jen has been one of the best people I have ever met. She has helped me through so much since I started teaching her. I'm going to miss teaching her and getting to know her but I'm glad that we live in a day and age where it's easy to communicate with people!

I guess I'll just hurry and go to what happened yesterday, Sunday the 9th! It was ANTHONY'S BAPTISM!!!! It was amazing! We had to push it back a couple times but I honestly think that it was the best day to have a baptism. His testimony is so incredible! We were sitting there before his baptism and he asked, "Why am I so scared?" I about jumped for joy when he asked us that question. The reason is because he was gaining an even greater testimony. Just sitting there talking to him about things and helping him through his "fears" was just a true testimony builder to me. And the baptism was so powerful! The Spirit was so dang strong! I loved it! To see Anthony in the font was amazing! The light he has in his eyes is incredible! He is just a totally different person then I remember teaching five months ago.

I have really enjoyed teaching Anthony and seeing his testimony grow. And I'm going to be looking forward to that the rest of my mission. I made a goal with myself to have nine baptisms before I go home (this was back in January.) Not that numbers are the important things but I have five out of nine baptisms. I hope and pray that as we work hard and diligently, we will be blessed. Not just to get a baptism but because this work and this gospel is so important and special to me that I want others to have what I have. I'm so thankful to be out here on my mission at this time in my life. This week I'm starting a "newness of life" and I'm going to work harder than ever before! I know this church is true! I love this work and and so thankful that I'm out here right now at this time in my life.

I love you all so very much!

Love always,

Sister Rachel Wheatley

Monday, June 3, 2013

Chino Hills One Last Time!

This week was such a good week! We didn't get as much accomplished as we had hoped and many things fell through but it was still a good week!

Out to lunch with Sisters Staker and Wheatley and prospective missionary,
Rachel, and the Elders
Tuesday the 28th (I couldn't believe we were four days away from June!!!) we did some service for a lady who was moving to Idaho and it was so fun. I love doing service (especially when a bunch of missionaries get together because we are able to come up with a lot of fun things to do while serving.)

Where we do our studying... it is HORRIBLE!
I want to jump in the pool!
After our service, we had a lesson with a potential investigator that has met with missionaries in the past. We met her about a month or so ago and she told us to come back after school ended so we did. We got there, got to know her a little, and then started to talk to her about why were are there. I was in the middle of my testimony when her phone rang. She looked down and said "I'm sorry, this is a phone call I've been waiting for. I have to take this." We decided to go make a couple phone calls outside and then come back in and see if she was done. We got back in and she came over and told us that she needed to reschedule because she was stressed and needed to go to the bank to get things figures out. So we talked for a couple minutes more and then said a prayer. Sadly we weren't able to teach her that much but we were glad we were able to say a prayer with her and hopefully everything will turn out the way it needs to for her.

Wednesday the 29th was good! We spent all day with a member of the YSA ward, Rachel. She's preparing to go on a mission and we needed her for a couple lessons so she decided to just spend all day with us! It was so much fun. We love Rachel! We had two lessons in the morning and then we met the Elders at the institute and then went over to Citrus college to do the booth. It wasn't a very successful day there. There was one young man who came up asking for reading materials and because we didn't have much going on while we were there, all five of us kinda gathered around him. I realized we all bombarded him so I stood back a little and took myself out of the conversation. It was going really well and then it turned kinda not so good. I won't go into any details but it was sad. I've talked to him before and thought he could potentially be an investigator but because of some things that were said, I feel like the chance was ruined. Hopefully not too badly for future but I'm sad to say, now more than likely isn't his time. :(
The best mission President EVER--
he bought all of us Slurpees after Zone Conference!

A couple weeks ago I went in to talk to President Becerra and after we were done, he was talking to Sister Staker and I both and he was giving us some ideas for finding. He told us that if we were smart, we'd take an hour of our day, a couple days a week, and go to Walmart of Target to "get a drink" because it's so hot out and go finding there. Look at our surroundings and just talk to people. Obviously we can't proselyte in Walmart or Target but we can talk to people and say things to them that will put "a bug in their ears" about the gospel. They will see our tags and something will come from it. So that's what we did on Wednesday night. We spent an hour with Rachel at Walmart and it was actually kind of fun. We talked to a few people and it's something that Sister Staker and I will start doing more often!

Thursday the 30th we did more service for a family in our family ward who are moving to Hawaii! Lucky family! And that's pretty much all. We had to do some weekly planning on Thursday because we were having zone conference on Friday in CHINO HILLS!!! :) And that leads me to my next day...

Sister Staker and I with our slurpees!
Friday the 31st was a good day! I went back to my place of birth! I was so happy! As we were driving, it felt so normal to be driving back to Chino Hills haha I know, that sounds weird. But it's true! We got there early and so I decided to drive past Momma J's house. I really wanted to stop and say hi (her front door was open) but I knew I probably shouldn't. But I was very tempted. Then we got to the stake center and it was just weird to be back there. So many fun memories of Pdays, District Meetings, tons of stuff! Fun to think back on things for a few hours.

Our zone conference was REALLY good! We talked a lot about prayer, repentance, and how the Lord is hastening the work. I got a lot of really awesome revelation during the conference! I was so happy!

Then during lunch, we opened the doors to the hall to get food and it was funny because there were a couple former missionaries standing out in the hall Hayden McKee, Jake Leausa, and another one (I think it was Elder Mackay or something like that, I never knew him...) It was cool to see some old missionaries there. They were here for the week and they found out about our zone conference so they showed up. haha I didn't talk to them very much but it was funny because I was talking to Leausa and he's on the institute board at UVU and he said when he got home, he was looking at the missionary wall and he saw my picture and he was like "What the Wheatley?!" haha Ok, that's what I would say but since I'm writing this email, I'll say it my way :) So I thought that was kinda funny! It was just fun to see them again.

All of my companions (except Davo :(  at Zone Conference
Well, to make a very long but very good zone conference short, I'll just end it there. We decided to go chill in the chapel for the last part of our conference because it was getting hot and then President told us "OK, it's really hot in here. And because it's really hot, after we are done here, is there a 7-11 around because I'll take you all to get a Slurpee! What the heck yes!! We were all totally excited! So it ended, we all waited around for President to do some interviews and then he met 30 missionaries at the 7-11 and bought us all Slurpee's!! It was awesome!

And to be honest, that's pretty much all that happened this week. It was a good week even though it didn't turn out exactly how we had hoped.

Just wanted to say thank you to Amanda Parrott for her letter this week!

Gotta run! Love you all so much!

Love always, Sister Wheatley
Guess what I received?  My "pre-trunks" papers --
basically tells me I have 3 months left on my mission!

The Goddards and me!  Love them!