Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pioneer Day

Sisters waiting for exchange backs.  L to R: Sisters Brown, Allan, Wheatley.
Back, L to R: Sisters Luther, McGinty and Denney
Well, this week was a pretty awesome week so I will just get right into it! Monday the 15th we started our Pday early. The ZL's text us all on Sunday and said that they were going to hike the "A" in Azusa and wanted it to be a zone activity. And it was fun! It was the second time I hiked the "A" and it wasn't as hard the second time around. Although it was a little hard for Sister Denney and she looked like she was going to pass out some of the time so we took it really slow. I asked if she wanted to go back down but she kept telling me that she wanted to make it all the way. So we did... But got there right as everyone was coming back down haha But it was a fun hike. The rest of the night not much happened.

That night though we drove out to Arcadia to do exchanges! I was going to Alhambra with Sister Brown. And being in Alhambra means being in East LA because that's part of their ward... But that will be talked about next.

Tuesday the 16th on exchanges we had a lot of fun! I never got to serve around Sister Brown because she was "born" in Chino Hills and this was the first transfer that she's been out of the Chino zone (which is officially no longer part of the Arcadia mission.) They are partially "pink washing" the Alhambra ward so we spent a lot of the time going around to visit less-actives and actives. We did have a lesson though with a less-active/part member family. It was a hard lesson. The non-member girlfriend was asking all these questions and I personally feel like she was just asking them just to ask/bash in a way. It was hard. But in the end, we bore powerful testimony and told her that we can only teach her and she has to do her part. It was so powerful, how could she deny it now?! I'm sad that I wasn't able to go back this past Saturday to see how their follow-up appointment with them went. I hope and pray it went well!

Proof of being in East L.A.
Then for dinner we went out to EAST LA!!!! Yes, I was so happy! I wanted to go to East LA forever and I got to spend a little over an hour out there haha It's a sketchy area... Kinda scary! But I was happy :) We had to take a picture for proof!

Wednesday the 17th was a good day! We didn't get much done though because we had to go out to Glendale for a Dr. appointment and Arcadia. It started out with interviews with President Becerra. I was so excited to have an interview with him and I was all pumped going into it and then three minutes before I went in, I realized it was my last interview with him before my exit interview. I got SOOO bummed!! I told him that and he said, "Sister Wheatley, you can't go there." haha I know! I didn't want to. It just popped into my head :/ But other than that, it was a good interview. I love meeting with President. He always has the best advice. Basically we talked a lot about praying anxiously and following the Spirit. It was exactly what I needed.

Then we randomly got a text from a member in the ward who asked if we wanted to go to Chili's for lunch... Umm.... YES!!!!! He said that we could get the two for $20 meal and get RIBS!!! I was so happy! haha So we went :) I was very happy!

After that we went to Glendale, Arcadia and had a lesson that evening with a new investigator. I had this really cool experience though while I was sitting at the Dr. office waiting for my companion. There was this man who was in his 80's (a member of the church) that started talking to me and he told me so much about himself. After about 10 minutes he went back for his appointment and after he was done, he came back out and waved good-bye to me. The second he did that, I just felt this overwhelming love for him. It was so weird! But it was amazing! I never thought I could ever have all that love for random people. I just wanted to start crying! I feel lucky that I have been blessed with this new love for people.

After the 5K walk/run. (L to R): Me, Sister Denney, Elder Kappen and Gracia,
Sisters Staker and Hazleton
That evening we had a lesson with a new investigator. She was being taught in the 5th ward but found out that she was in our ward boundaries. She's friends with a bunch of members and has been taking lessons off and on for years. It was a pretty good lesson and then the members that came to the lesson actually know Kim from work and they took us out to Baskin Robbins. Yummy!!

Thursday the 18th was an ok day. We had a couple lessons that turned out well and then we went to a Relief Society service auction and dinner. It was a good time! I got all sorts of crazy trying to win things haha It was just funny!

Friday the 19th all we did was do weekly planning. We had so much to plan for. But that  evening we had a last minute lesson with our new investigator, Kim. She texted us and said that she had decided to not pursue the LDS church. We asked if we could meet with her and we had a lesson with her that night. She just had a lot of concerns and we helped her understand things better. She's still not sure if she wants to get baptized. So we are just going to be meeting with her to help her gain a better understanding about the gospel. But she's not ready to be baptized. It was a bummer to get a text like we did but we are glad she is still willing to meet with us. She said she just felt pressured in the beginning and she has some doctrine issues she needs to get through. So we're excited to help her!

Now I have to hurry... I don't like emailing so late in the day because all the other missionaries are around and I can never keep focus. But they all just left so now I think I will have some peace and quiet to finish emailing and have it make sense :)

Saturday the 20th was a very good day! We got up and went over to the stake center for the Glendora Stake Pioneer day 5k walk/run. I wanted to run but we were so sore from the hike on Monday and working out that there was no way we were going to run that thing. So we just walked. But it was so much fun! I got to walk with Brother and Sister Hartwig from the 5th ward most of the way. I really enjoyed it. It took us about 45ish minutes to walk the 5K but it was good!

If you walk into Pinnacle Peak with a tie on they cut it
Then that night we had a big picnic and that was awesome! I guess there weren't as many people there as there usually are but it was cool. It was neat to celebrate Pioneer day differently this year than what we usually do in Utah. Sister Ackley was on exchanges with Sister Chambers so she was there and we decided that we are going to come back next year for it (she served in the G3 ward last year at this time...) haha But it was fun!

Earlier in the day though, we had a really sweet awesome lesson with our two new investigators, Brad and Derek. They are sons of a less-active in the ward and Brad really wants to get baptized. He's really interested in the church but his father and grandmother have something against the church and won't let him. It's really sad. We can only teach them every other week because that's how often they are with their mom. It's just sad that some people are so against the church. But the lesson was great! They had a lot of plan of salvation questions so that mainly led our discussion. Plus they had a friend their with them that had a lot of questions! It was just awesome! To be teaching these teenage boys and seeing that they had all these questions was just neat! We gave them the challenge to exercise their faith by praying to Heavenly Father to have their father and grandmothers heart soften so they can be baptized. Plus it will get their mother back to church which would be awesome!

Sister Brown and I.  Long story that goes with the shoes...
for another time.
Sunday the 21st was just awesome! I have to say that one of my favorite things about being a missionary is going to ward council meetings. Growing up I always wondered what they were about and I get to go to them every week as a missionary. I love to be informed so that we can go out and help people whenever needed. It's just awesome! Plus because of the world-wide broadcast last month, the missionary work/efforts in ward councils are changing and Bishop Lemmon is on top of it! Yesterday I started to cry in ward council while he was talking about what things are changing and how we are going to be a more missionary focused ward! It was just awesome! I'm a little worried though because he said he's been bishop for five years and next month is stake conference. I'm worried that he's going to be released! He has the vision and I don't want to ward to lose that! I guess that's when the members need to take over and catch that vision too!

But it was a good day yesterday. This next week is going to be good also! We are planning two baptisms for next Sunday and we are so excited! Everyone in the ward is excited and we are hoping that this is the start of something new for the ward. They have always been a missionary focused ward but the last couple months it's kinda gone down but it's climbing back up! And I'm thankful that I get to be here to witness it! No missionary work can be done without the members. It's been hard without the members help but it's picking up again.

I know this church is true. I could never deny it!

I love you all so much!

Love always,

Sister Wheatley

With Danielle at Pinnacle Peak for dinner

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