Tuesday, September 3, 2013

No clever title!

Well, I don't have much time to write today. Yesterday was obviously Labor Day so the library was closed and we don't have keys to the Family History Center here in Pasadena yet so we weren't able to email yesterday. And today we have been busy so we don't have much time before we have to go to dinner but I will try to hurry this email up.

Monday the 26th was a pretty chill Pday. We didn't do much but mostly because I wasn't feeling very well. We did our typical cleaning, emails, groceries, etc. and then we went to the mission office to wash and clean our car because we were having Zone Conference and we wanted to win the popcorn prize for cleanest car ;) But when we got there, I sat on the computer the whole time. Mostly for two reasons... There were too many missionaries washing their cars so it was too crowded but also because I had a nasty headache that I just wanted to sit down and not do anything. Long story and day short, after being at the office all day, we had dinner with a part-member family, the Greer-Palini's. We got there and my headache was throbbing and I didn't talk the whole time. By the time dessert was brought out, Sister McGinty excused us and we left. On the way home, I was on the verge of tears so we called Brother Ngo and Brother Cannon in the ward to give me a blessing. I haven't had a headache so bad in a really long time and it was nice to get a blessing of not only healing but also of comfort. After the blessing, we went home and I went to bed. It took me a long time to get to sleep but when I did, I slept like a baby.

The "original" Panda Express - but WAY too pricey!
Anyone who knows me, knows my favorite food is Panda Express!
Sadly the next morning, Tuesday the 27th, I woke up still not feeling well. I didn't have as bad of a headache as the day before but I was not feeling well at all. I ended up sleeping in till about noon. I felt bad because Sister McGinty told me later that all morning she was having to apologize to the other Sisters in the house because they wanted to turn the AC off because it was cold but I needed it on. Apparently it was so cold in the house that our room actually had really cold air streaming from the cracks of our door yet I was burning up and sweating! It was crazy!

The rest of the day I didn't feel all that wonderful but I got up and get ready and we went to work. We took it really slow and we didn't even leave our house til at least 3 pm. I felt bad for wasting so much time but imagine how sick I would have been the rest of the day/week had I not slept in.

When we finally did get out to do some work, we went and visited a less-active member, Sister Callier. She has cancer right now and is going through chemotherapy or radiation (can't remember which one) so she can't come to church. She's been inactive for many years but her husband started taking the missionary lessons before he passed away and he was about to be baptized but things happened where they cancelled it :( Long story short, she's wanting to come back to church and to be able to go through the temple and be able to do her husband's work. We went in there thinking we were just going to be teaching her the Restoration lesson but this conversation turned out way better than anything we could have planned for. So it was really cool! I just hope that she gets better soon so that she can come to church and prepare for her to go through the Temple and do her husband's work.

Wednesday the 28th was a good day! We had Zone Conference here in Pasadena and it was so good! I don't have my notes so I can't remember all that was talked about but a lot of what was talked about was sustaining our leaders and planning. President O'Bryant, the Glendora Stake President, and his wife came and spoke to us and that was amazing! Glendora had Elder L. Tom Perry come to their stake that previous weekend for stake conference and President O'Bryant told us a lot of what Elder Perry said and it was just amazing! I was so bummed that I got transferred and wasn't able to be there when Elder Perry came. Well, I learned a lot about sustaining our leaders.... 

Well, like I said, Zone Conference was so good! We had it with the Glendora stake and I loved seeing everyone that I served with there. It's been so weird to be here in Pasadena and not in Glendora. I feel like sometimes I'm just on an extended exchange and I think I'm going back to Glendora tomorrow. haha So it was nice to talk to my friends/fellow missionaries from Glendora.

Sister McGinty and I at the original Panda Express
Not much happened on Thursday the 29th or Friday the 30th. We did A LOT of weekly planning on Friday. We went through our area book and sadly we "dropped" a lot of the investigators that Sister McGinty and Sister Carrell had been working with. Since I got to the area, we haven't met with them or they haven't kept their commitments. It was hard because it just meant that we were starting from scratch again. We are hoping that us having done this, it will help us to find new investigators. We have a lot to do and we are willing to do it!

We then had a lesson with our investigator Larissa and her husband Aaron. We taught the Plan of Salvation and had a great lesson there. We invited Sister Dieny in the ward and that was good to have her there because she testified a lot about what we were talking about and how it has helped her in her life. (Sister Dieny is the daughter of the Whitworth's in the Glendora 5th ward so I loved having her there because I just love the Whitworths!)

Saturday the 31st started out with us going to the Rose Bowl and playing soccer with the other Sisters in the Pasadena ward, the Elders from the South Pass ward, and our investigator Jessica. We are trying to put together a finding activity on Saturdays at the Rose Bowl and invite people there to come play with us so this was another test. Sadly it was pretty empty there compared to other days of the week because there was a UCLA game going on that evening and so it was pretty empty during the day. But we had fun just the seven of us and it was good for Jessica to come and hang out with us missionaries.

Sunday the 1st (can hardly believe that it's September already...) was a good day! In fact, it was a wonderful day!! The spirit was so strong all day at church and even in the evening! One thing that was so cool, or spirit-filled that I loved, is that in sacrament meeting, the closing song was "Lead, Kindly Light". The second the organ started playing, I started to cry. This song has been a song that I have come to love throughout my mission. Sister Davidson and I sang it for a member in our ward whose mother had just passed away and who hadn't been to church in a while. I remember the tears that he cried and the spirit that was in his home. And to make it "worse" the first verse of the song reads:

        "Lead, kindly Light, a-mid th' encircling gloom; Lead thou me on!
         The night is dark and I am far from home; Lead thou me on!
         Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
         The distant scene - one step enough for me."

Sister McGinty and I
As this last Sunday was two weeks before my farewell, those words just hit me so hard! This is exactly what I am doing next. I can't see the scene that is about to be set before me but I know that if I take it one step at a time and trust and have faith, my dear Savior will lead me through the darkness. This song has now become one of my favorites for so many different reasons. I'm just so thankful for the spirit that was felt on Sunday. It was a major answer to my prayers.

The rest of the night was just a wonderful night and it was because of Sister McGinty and an experience she had while fasting for the day. There's a couple in our ward who have had some miscarriages in the last year and they are having a hard time. Sister McGinty has taken this couple to heart and has prayed for them multiple times. That day she decided to fast for them that they may get pregnant and bring this baby here to raise. She forgot that we were having dinner with them that night and while at dinner, they told us that they are pregnant! Sister McGinty could barely hold in her feelings. What a miracle! We ended up spending about 30 minutes longer than the other Sisters to talk to them and it was just an amazing miracle!

As we drove home that night, we were talking about things that are going to help us this next week and we know that these miracles and the spirit that we felt that day and many other things that we learned this week, we know miracles are going to happen!

This has already been a very emotional weekend and week and so yesterday I went and got waterproof mascara ;) But I am so looking forward to the next 14 days that are ahead! Miracles are going to happen in this area and I'm so excited to be apart of them in some way or another.

I'm going to end now because it is about time for dinner but I realized that I haven't thanked people in a while for writing me the last month or so. Thanks to all those who have shown their love by doing so. I really do love getting letters! ;) And for all the prayers and support, thank you!

I love you all!
Love always,

Sister Rachel Wheatley

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