Monday, August 5, 2013

Goodbye Glendora :( Hello Pasadena!!!

As you can see from the title of this email, I have been transferred to Pasadena FOR MY LAST SIX WEEKS!!!! I'm trying to decide if I'm happy or sad about it. I have come to love Glendora and the members there. I feel like I could have driven around with my eyes closed because I was there so long (since October.) But I know that this is where the Lord wants me for my last six weeks. I have had multiple prayers where I have asked the Lord to either bring me a companion that will push me these last six weeks or send me to an area that will push me. I think I have received both. My new companion is Sister McGinty. She has only been out for six weeks so I will be finish training again. I'm excited to be in Pasadena with her. She will be wonderful! Sister Carrell started training her and she said Sister McGinty is awesome!

Ivy, a little girl from Glendora, and Sister Wheatley

So, right now I am sitting at the office waiting for Sister McGinty and some of the other Sisters who decided to go to the Huntington Gardens this morning. I was going to go but to be honest, I'd rather email then go see a bunch of plants haha So I will get started because I don't know when they will be here to pick me up...
Not a whole bunch happened on Monday the 29th but Tuesday the 30th was a pretty good day. We had a lesson with our new investigator, Kathleen. She took some lessons from the Elders in the past but somehow slipped through the cracks. We taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what it takes for us to live with God in the Celestial Kingdom (we taught about the Plan of Salvation the first time we met with her.) It was a very good lesson and we had Sister LaRoche there with us. Sister LaRoche is a convert of about 20 years so she was able to bear her testimony a couple different times about what we were teaching. It was really cool because we committed Kathleen to baptism at the end of the lesson and she said yes. We committed her for August 25th and she said yes! After the lesson we were talking to Sister LaRoche and she said that when Kathleen said yes, she felt this huge waved of the Spirit. It was really cool! We were so happy. She wants to change her life and she knows that this is the way!

Sent from our Dutch friends to Mom and then she sent to us!
THANK YOU!!!!!!!
Wednesday the 31st was an ok day. It was one of the less productive days I've had in a while. We had no appointments and we didn't have much success in what we did. The only awesome success was when we went on splits that night with a member and we went to see a less-active member. We had seen her the night before but she was leaving and she didn't seem like she wanted to see us anyway. We went over again because this member wanted to see her and when she opened the door, it didn't seem like she was going to let us in until she saw the member. So that was nice because we then spent an hour or so with her. She said she was going to come back to church that Sunday but she didn't come and we were totally bummed! But that's missionary work, they say they'll come and they don't and you get super sad! But there's no giving up with her.

Thursday August 1st I woke up and kinda freaked out realizing that it was AUGUST and I come home NEXT MONTH!!!! So I had a little freak out session in the morning haha After district council we all went out to lunch at Chili's for the last time as a district. We had fun! I love my district! We had a good time together.
Parking spot for missionaries at the Institute building. HECK YEA!
We then had a lesson with our recent convert, Christine. We just read some scriptures and asked her how she felt when she was baptized. She was super shy, like always, and we had to keep her lesson short. But it was good. She kept texting us all week asking when we were coming. She's so cute but she was going to put us over our texting limit haha

We then had a lesson with Kim, and watched the Finding Faith in Christ DVD. It was nice to watch that and have a little discussion about what it means to have Faith in Christ and why that's so important.

Oh, one funny thing that happened at district council... So some of the missionary lingo is that your trainer is your mom for Sisters and dad for Elders. Gracia said something about Kappen being "his son" and out blurts Sister Hazelton, "I don't have a mom!!!!" It was so funny! She was waiting for her visa so she wasn't being trained. It was so cute! We couldn't stop laughing about it.

Not much happened on Friday the 2nd except for weekly planning. I had a really hard time paying attention during our planning. It took us a long time but I just couldn't focus! But we got lots done and had a good time while doing it.

Not much else happened that day except for that we had dinner at Olive Garden with Kim. It was fun to just spend some time with her and get to know her a little more on a more personal level. We love Kim!

Sister Hazleton is waiting for her visa to go to Peru.
She got her visa two days earlier, so we were happy for her!
Ok, Saturday the 3rd was a very crazy day! We got up and didn't have time to study in the morning because we had a service project right at 8am. That took us all the way til our after baptism lesson with Lone Wolf at 11:30am. That was good and we just talked about the Holy Ghost and asked him about his baptism. He told us he had a really cool experience when he want into the water and he kinda saw his life flash before him and how he wants to be better. I really like that! I was glad that he had an experience like that.

We then had just enough time to stop by a store parking lot where the Glendora High School Pep Club was doing a car wash. We really needed a car wash so I was like, "What the heck?" and I'm so glad I went because as we were there I saw some of the kids  there and I was like... "Oh my gosh, that's Matt! And there's Emma and Whitney and the Ballard twins!" These are all youth from the 5th ward and they are in Pep Club and stuff. I was so happy! And I finally saw my dear investigator, Amanda and got really happy. As we were sitting getting our car washed, I saw Matt look over and I waved. He looked at me for a second and realized it was the missionaries. He called out to Amanda and said I was there and she came RUNNING to the car and opened the door WHILE THEY WERE SPRAYING IT WITH WATER!! haha It was so funny! So while they were driving, I got out and talked to her for a minute. I was so happy to see them all, especially Amanda!

Right after that, we had to rush over to our next appointment with a less-active and her two non-member sons. They are wanting to get baptized so we have been teaching them for a couple weeks. The only problem is that they only visit her every other weekend so we have very limited visits. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and why these steps are so important. They committed to coming to church on Sunday but they were a little hesitant. We were already over our time and I knew we were losing their attention so we just finished up the lesson and left. Something that President has taught us is that because we are servants of the Lord, we are able  to discern when they are not telling the whole truth. I knew  they weren't going to come but I didn't call  them out on it. Now that the time is passed, I really wish that I had. Who knows, that might have changed things for them and maybe they would have come to church.
Sisters Wheatley, Butler and Denney.
The rest of the day was filled with the stake youth baptism and studies. Yes, studies in the evening but it was the only time to do so. And after our studies, our district all met up and we waited for transfer calls.
Oh, one thing... The Elders also had a really busy day so they decided to have studies in the evening also. We were at the church when they got there and Elder Gracia wanted Elder Kappen and Sister Denney to teach him. He thought it would be good for them because he is really hard when it comes to role plays. He is brutal! But it really helps us all to grow. So they started teaching him and he decided to just make up a random personality out of all the people that he has taught in the past. To make this short, at one point he was praying and oh my heck, his prayer in this role play was so powerful! He started to cry and I even started to cry. It was kind of like an experience that you would want as a missionary. And that's the whole point of role plays but the fact that he wasn't playing anyone in particular made it even better. It was just really cool!

Well, 9pm rolled around and we got our transfer calls. I got my call first and I heard words from Elder Bangerter that I did not want to hear, "after much prayer and consideration President has called you to serve in the Pasadena ward." I got off the phone and started to cry. Really?! My last six weeks and I get moved?!! I wasn't very happy. But I know, like I said at the beginning of this email, it is an answer to my prayers and I know this is where I'm supposed to be. So I'm making the best out of it! It will be good! Elder Kappen and Elder Gracia then got their calls. Gracia was going full time in the singles ward and training and Kappen was going full time in the 1st ward. Then Staker and Hazelton. Hazelton was going back to Spanish work for a few days before she heads off to Peru (she got her visa on Wednesday) and Staker was staying in the YSA ward but pink washing the 3rd ward which means 5th ward was being white washed. I was bummed that everyone else was staying (except Hazelton but she would be leaving soon enough for Peru...) and I was leaving. But it's ok. I just had a little crying fest but I got it all out that night and now I'm doing great!
Then Sunday the 4th rolled around. It was a very good day! I started cleaning up and packing in the morning and in between meetings in the morning. We had a lesson with Kathleen set up for before church but she didn't show. We were totally bummed! And she wasn't picking up her phone either. We didn't think to go to her house until it was too late so that was a bummer too.

Weekly planning for my last transfer
Church was good! Christine and Lone Wolf were both confirmed during sacrament meeting and they were wonderful blessings. During the whole fast and testimony meeting, the Spirit was so strong! I got up and bore my testimony since I was leaving and of course, I cried like a baby. But it was good! I especially cried when one of my most favorite ladies from the 5th ward was in the meeting, Sister Cisneros. She reminds me of Rozanne Dean in a way and I just cried when I saw that she was there. But I also cried because it was just a very spirit-filled meeting and I was leaving Glendora and I was sad.

Then Lone Wolf got up and bore his testimony and that was really cool to see! He got up the first Sunday that he was a confirmed member of the church! So cool! And even though some of the things that he says is sometimes a little.... weird? his testimony was very nice! It made me smile.

After church we stopped at some members houses, took pictures, went to dinner and then headed out to Arcadia for the missionary farewell. We went with some members and we didn't leave Arcadia til almost 9pm. The farewell was wonderful. Pretty long because there were so many missionaries going home but it was good! The whole time I was there though, I know I shouldn't have but I couldn't help but think, "Oh my gosh, that is going to be me in six weeks. Where has the time gone? I'm not ready for this." And then I just kept thinking about what I'm going to say in my farewell testimony haha Always thinking ahead! ;)
The Elders and I.
Elder Bucholz leaves tomorrow and Gracia and I in six weeks.
Elder Beard in 12 weeks.
During the testimonies, one of the Elders got up, I think it was Elder Wilding or Elder Stoker, and said, "Serving a mission is the best two for one coupon you will ever get." He said a couple things earlier about mail and coupons so it made sense and was funny but it is so true! You go on a mission to change the life of others but in the end, you also change yourself. I really liked that!

And that's about all that happened this last week. It was a pretty good week. The end of the week was bitter-sweet with transfers but I know that this is right. I know that I will meet people here in Pasadena that I need to visit. Sister McGinty asked if I figured out yet why I was sent to California for my mission and there have been many moments that I know I was sent here for but I also know that there will be more in these next six weeks. I love this work! I know it's true! Heavenly Father is in charge and I never have to worry about what's going to be happening. No one ever has to worry as long as we put our trust in Him. Don't turn your back on Him because He'll never turn His back on you. We are all precious to Him and He wants us all to return to Him. I know this!!!

Here's to a new area, new companion, and the last six weeks of my mission!

I love you all and am so thankful for all that each and everyone of you do for me. There have been a couple people in the past couple weeks that have sent me mail and I just want to say thank you. I know I haven't been good at saying thank you or wishing people happy birthday but I think about you all all the time.

Love always,
Sister Rachel Anna Wheatley

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