Monday, October 28, 2013

Hide yo kids, Hide yo wife, we already believe in Christ

Dear Familia!
     Not a lot of people wanted to talk to us this week though we tracted quite a bit they tell us to leave them alone or just shut the door or just don't answer which has happened most this week. They also say they feel sorry for us and the already believe in Jesus Christ and the are already saved and then they continue to hide from us. We will get you. :) 7 gears on my bike has been just fine, and I really do appreciate the low step, we have  a bigger area, mostly just in Watkinsville, but we drive a lot. My companion has a GPS and I don't know where we would be with out it, really just lost ALL THE TIME. We got to Relief Society and love visiting and working with the members. PHEW, glad I got out of Jury duty... :) (She was called on jury duty for three months and I had to send in her call to get her out of it.)
     I'll be looking forward to the package! :) Thank you for sending some stuff, I really appreciate it!
And I really like that quote, it is so true and helpful. Sounds like you have had fun taking a tour of Georgia, it is pretty here and there are about a half million squirrels in our back yard at any given time and acorns everywhere they are fun to crunch and walk on. :)
We had our primary program yesterday and well and it was so fun the little kids are so cute and made us laugh a lot. We have only had 3 dinners with members and none of them this week, and when the Elders found that out they went around and asked people to feed us which was really nice of them.  There are 3 sets of missionaries in our ward, the Zone leaders and another set of Elders and us! We drive a 2014 Chev Cruise, it is brand new and very nice. My shoes and clothes are comfortable and work out great, most of the time I don't even notice what I'm wearing so it doesn't occur to me and doesn't really matter, today is the first day that it has rained. We usually email around 10am to noon so you can always watch for me then I like being able to chat a little bit! :)
      This week we had a lot of awkward moments but we always say, it wouldn't be missionary work if it wasn't awkward. :) The ward members are absolutely fantastic and make sure that we are taken care of I have had 3 ladies tell me not to worry and they can be my Mom while I am here. They are hilarious I love it. A lady gave us a whole bag of Reeses and you can imagine that I was happy, but my companion is allergic to peanuts and so I get the whole bag. aahhhh yeah. :) Life is good. And this week I got cheesecake (the kind at lunch on the day I gave my talk) and I was in heaven it was soo good.
     I think I mentioned it in my letter, but did you get my tithing to the bishop? Thank you if you did you are great! I got a cute Halloween card from the activity day girls tell them thank you and I appreciate it!
      This Saturday was amazing because Elder Dallin H. Oaks came to talk to us along with Elder Suarez, I got to shake both of their hands and their wives and hear him talk. It was so cool, he is like a celebrity, all the missionaries were enamored!  He talked about a wide variety of topics and the 10 gifts that we should take home from going on a mission. He also talked about the ordinance of the sacrament and how essential it is, it is the only ordinance in the church that we participate in literally thousands of times obviously it is of great importance. I just love that.
      Tell Miriam that I am praying for her and I just know that she will do amazing in the play and look good while doing it! ;)
The work is a little slow but we are doing are best and it is progressing we are finding people to teach and see so many miracles and tender mercies each and everyday that I am so grateful for!
      The priesthood is amazing and it can help anybody Elders are great when you can see them exercise that faith and power. I am so glad I have had it in my life Pops is so awesome!
The work is moving along and we are doing our best to find the elect!
      I think that is all for this week and I look forward to hearing from you next week, I love you all and I am so grateful for you prayers example and all that you do! Love ya!

Peace, love, prayers, and blessing
Love Sister Rach Weeks (I like my first name)

Rachel and her new bike helmet

Atlanta Georgia North Mission Home

MTC food - At least the chips redeemed it!

MTC district

part of traveling group to Atlanta

MTC district with favorite teacher

Sisters in district

room at MTC

MTC sisters in district

Sisters going to exercise - or something

the new me!

My new best friend!

Rachel flying high in the sky

Rachel and her friend Jenny she was in the MTC

District sisters going to the temple

Everybody has to have a picture like this.

Sister Parker from Iowa, out 6 mo. her new comp and trainer

Monday, October 21, 2013

Arrival in Georgia Land

Dear Family,
     It has been an interesting week, I actually like the weather here and I am cold a lot of the time especially in our sketchy apartment.... We are "white-washing" a new area, so we have to start completely from scratch. There are no records or anything, they have never had sisters here before. The flight was so cool, I wasn't scared at all and it was fun! I can just sit in a chair 37,000 feet in the sky and take a nap. This world is amazing. The mission President and his wife President and Sister Wolfert are amazing they are kind and really good people. It has been a pretty long hard week. Since we are starting over we tract everyday all the time and visit members to get referral and ideas of places to go since we have absolutely no idea. We are in the Athens 2nd ward and the members are amazing. They are so kind and do so much to help us. The ward mission leader is a lot of help as well. Our area is spread across 3 different towns Athens, Bishop and Watkinsville (where our sketchy apartment is). I love my yellow bike even more than I did in the picture, we have a car as well since our area is pretty big so we use both quite a bit. I like riding it, except up hills or in the dark... :) My companion and trainer is Sister Parker she is blonde and 5' 1" .

     We eat with members some nights we have 3 times so far, but they take us out to eat or give us money to go sometimes. I ate taco soup, lime chicken and squash. None of which do I like but not to worry Mom I ate it all. We are eating with a couple people this week. A sister in the ward brought us a whole bunch of food and supplies this morning and we were so grateful definitely a tender mercy it was amazing, we don't have much in our apartment. And another Sister in our ward cleaned our carpets... boy did they need it.

     We haven't had any appointments with investigators yet because of the organizing the new area issue but it is getting better and we have a few lined up for this week. Why President Wolfert trusted me with this responsibility I have no idea, it is a little bit of a struggle but we are working on it.
     I am so glad Miriam loves her dresses I bet she looks gorgeous in them and I can't wait to see a picture. She is a cutie patootie! (I am making two costumes for Miriam for the school play she is in)

     I don't really have much access to ensigns or anything else unless it is on P-day on the computer and we won't have much time to do readying on that. ( I told her of a couple good articles to read and didn't know what they had access too)

     If you could send me a CD with David Archuleta Christmas songs on as well as Michael Buble just the ones that are on the computer and not RIGHT now just when that time comes, because we are allowed to listen to them says my companion... If it is just David I am more than alright with that and it can only be Christmas stuff from them. If you don't get around to it is is fine, I have other stuff. 
     Thank you so much for the package I got all my things, they were waiting for me and I loved the treats!! A LOT! I had to do a few days without a pillow but that situation is solved. They don't have blankets or sheets so it is a good thing you sent them and I brought one or I would have just had to have gone and bought one.

     There are 2 other sets of elders in our ward, the zone leaders are one of them they are really nice and helpful, we got a referral from them. Church yesterday was so good and the members are very nice we are glad to be here. Hopefully the work picks up soon.

     I am so grateful for you prayers and everything else that you do for me it is a great blessing and help and I hope that you all know how much I love and appreciate you and all you do, you are amazing.

      I love Alma Chapter 8 it is a great encouragement and help, Alma and Amulek are the best missionaries ever.
     There is much to be grateful for and Heavenly Father manifests his hand in my life daily through miracles and tender mercies.
     We have found a few people to teach and I am really excited for them. Heavenly Father is definitely preparing people to hear his gospel.

    It has been one of the hardest weeks ever but it is improving and I'm praying more that I ever thought possible. I am doing my best to be more faithful, charitable, patient, and working on those Christ-like attributes hopefully I can become a better missionary. Thank you for all you prayers! The work continues to progress and I'm doing okay! I love you all so much! It was so good to talk to you at the airport!
Peace and Blessing and you are always in my prayers
Love Rach (Sister Weeks) :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Firehose Straight at Me

Hey family! I am so excited to hear from you!
         I'm glad you go my letters! :) I didn't bring out my Dork dot but I still have it on the back of my tag, the new missionaries look scared and the Elders in my district like to mess with them and scare them, teenage boys... Our district is pretty close and they are all going to my mission, almost everyone in my zone is Sister Bradford is as well, so I have seen her quite a bit. I know a lot of people going to my mission!
         My week... How to even begin, it is impossible to even begin to describe all that I have felt and learned in the past week and I LOVE it! Missionary work is amazing! Conference was fantastic we went to the main MTC and I found Jenny Lyon we took a picture together and talked for a bit it was so good to see her she is doing really well and leaves on the 22 for Korea! Crazy. My two favorite talks in conference were by Brethren that I don't really remember their names and I don't have my notes with me... WHOOPS. But one was about being meek and humble and the other one about being a good teacher. Brother Stanley challenged us to go into conference with one or two questions and it is amazing how much more I learned and paid attention I love conference so much. Heavenly Father is amazing. The two elders sitting next to me rattled they had so much candy and treats stuffed in their pockets. Most definitely 18 year olds. We had to walk up to the main campus because I'm at west and it is quite a walk and it's cold. At the west MTC everything is spread apart so we have to walk quite a bit in between classes and such. When conference was over Sister Merrill and I and the other two Sister decided we were going to run back to west campus, take that, it was kinda fun! Afterwards we had a devotional that turned into a cry fest for everyone... but me... Even the elders, it was A LOT of crying... On Sunday it was kinda strange because everyday is like Sunday, but after conference Vocal Point came for a devotional and it was sooo good, they gave us some advice and of course sang. I loved it. 
         The elders always tell me they remind me of their older sister... I'm not really sure if that is a good thing or not, but hey whatever. We also watched a video called the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar and it was amazing everyone should hear it, he talked about turning outwards in times of trial. 
          On Monday night we taught our investigator Damitric who is our teacher but it was crazy we said a prayer before we went in because we were SOO nervous and we planned our lesson studied it and then the spirit just took over. We invited him to be baptized and come to church and he said yes. It was soo cool, we were on such a spiritual high afterwards. There is no teaching lesson without the spirit because I know that I couldn't have done that without help. 
         Brother Stanley (teacher that our investigator, but it's like it's real) is an amazing teacher one day I hope I have teach and have the spirit with me like that. He talked to us about the Book of Mormon and STUDYING our scriptures and he talked to us individually he ready Jeremiah 18: 1-6 with me just what I needed, we always just need to allow ourselves to be continually molded and shaped by Heavenly Father according to his will. 
         Yesterday we had "In-field training" and it was spectacular! We went up to the main MTC again and it is fun every once in a while to go there I love talking to the people from different countries and going to different places you can just walk up and talk to them and its not weird, missionaries are so cool. When we walk anywhere a million horns honk and we get waves all the time and "aaahhh it's the missionaries" Oh the good old days when that was me... :) They talked about utilizing members and how to bring them in and earning their trust. The teacher was from Paris and he had a navy blue suit with a skinny tie and brown shoes with an accent.... You know what that means... Love at first sight. :) I am enamored by him.  I'm a missionary and I don't really care, but no shame. He had a lot of good insights and taught us a lot. Being at the MTC is like trying to take a drink out of a fire hose it is so much and you only get a little bit, but it is amazing how much I remember when I write it down and by some miracle I am able to pay attention. 
         Brother Stanley last night told us about on of his investigators on his mission that is now a member her name is Damitria sound familiar? Yep he based his story and investigator that he is for us off of her. It is on of the most amazing stories that I have ever heard in my life. I want to find people like that and help them into the waters of baptism because that's why I'm here and as Brother Manning would say BAPTIZE CONVERTS! 
         My goal is to TREASURE IT UP! I am going to study so hard because I want to learn so much more Preach My Gospel is so inspired I LOVE IT! We are to teach to Plan of Salvation with 2 principles in mind: 1 Gods vision of becoming and 2 helping them see the need for the Atonement. because Testimony + action = conversion. Teach in the process of becoming. I have learned so much and I want to thank you guys for teaching me you're all amazing!
         When I got your dearSisters I got 5 of them it was a little bit of a "Van Pelt, Van Pelt, Van Pelt..." Moment off the best two years hahaha I ripped them out of the District leaders hand, what can I say I wanted to see what you wrote! :)
Tell Miriam thank you for the notes and I love her I'll have a letter coming soon! :) 
Love you all!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The MTC at its finest

Dear Familia,
I am alive and doing happy and well. After you dropped me off I got my official handy dandy name tag, we look LEGIT. No big deal. The first day was really long and busy but we got though it. My companion's name is Sister Merrill she is my height blonde and super cute. She is twenty and was a cheerleader at the U and Snow college. We get along really well and laugh a lot. We also work really well with each other. Our first day in our class Sister Merrill and I walked in and we were the last ones to arrive, the first teacher introduced himself as Brother Stanley the other one as Brother Weekes (pronounced exactly like our last name) Yep, I tag checked him, quite obviously and he noticed... he wasn't joking. Whoops. The first day we learned A LOT I don't even know where to put all the spiritual insights and information we are receiving. We had an experience with teaching our first investigator as a group, 3 sister missionaries would come in start it off we would pause and then a group of 30ish missionaries would take over. We did this in 3 different rooms with 3 different people. On our way to the last room Sister Merrill and I were walking in the middle of a load of missionaries and the Brother in charge pulled us aside, we thought we were in trouble because we were talking in the last one (of course it was about the investigator) and he asked us if we would be the two sisters that started it off. What in the world!?! How and why did he pick us, I have no idea but we had about 15-30 seconds to prepare and then they tossed us into the sharks. It was a little scary but we did it! And we did pretty well, we learned loads from the experience even through we were properly scared out of our shorts/skirts :) CHECK. 
Our apartment is pretty small but we only share with 2 other sisters, Sister Reuckert and Sister Davis they're really fun. Our toilet leaks so we have the river Jordan on our bathroom floor that we wade through to brush our teeth... I thought I wasn't supposed to have to swim. I ain't even mad. :) 
My bag is absolutely  not going to work I can only fit half of what I need and I still can't zip it up... I'm not really sure what to do... Better luck next time, nice try try again. :)
The elders in our district are definitely 18 year old boys and obnoxious but they're like family and they're funny in an odd weird sort of way... They won't let us take our own tray in the cafeteria and freak out when we try, there is hope for them yet. They think that weird stuff is funny and they are super cool, maybe the spirit has gone to their head, they aren't that funny.  And the food... it is well, definitely cafeteria food a little slimy and questionable but way better than school and no Nazi lunch ladies all very nice and polite and there is always a peanut butter sandwich available. Don't worry I haven't resorted to that yet. 
I love all of the teachers I've had they are awesome and I have learned a lot, yesterday was my favorite, but really how many days do I have to pick from... We learned how to plan and study more effectively and Brother Stanley said we have got it down. #swaggg He is a really good teacher and very happy he went on his mission to North Carolina and he said he gained 35 pound in the frist 6 weeks that is not good. I cannot do that my clothes will no longer fit. 
This morning we had to get up at 5:00 for a service project cleaning bathrooms it's like a flashback to summer except I have a name tag and BYPOO is involved. Not to worry though, the elders got assigned to the toilets. What troopers. :) 
We have 4 sisters and 4 elders in our district and it is not as I thought it would be the Elders still out number the sisters and Elders are still awkward and weird. We saw them playing basketball out our window yesterday and Sister Reuckert was watching while we were in our room she said "uh... AWKWARD ELDERS" They were not even coming close to the hoop most of the time... I'm sorry but we laughed. 
I am at the West campus and we have to walk a lot to get to where we need to, and it is FREEZING a balmy 48 degrees yesterday. And you have my coat and boots. Good thing I only have to be here for 13 days. When we got into our room Wednesday night we realized that our room had not sheets. Yipee. Not to worry though They have a blanket and I just use mine and I'm perfectly fine. Just send it to Georgia... Also, I think I left my makeup brush in the bathroom it has a gold handle. 
When we have to walk to our class we say hi to all the missionaries, the ones that are learning a different language say hi in that language at first I asked Sister Merrill if she understood any of what they were saying, not to worry, my ears still work it wasn't any language I understand, I'll I've got is "Hola, como es stas" Correct spelling on that... and Ciao. Some Elder was speaking German I have no response but I do know what it was. I'm making you guys proud all over the place. I am doing my best and hope that I can become a great missionary.Thanks for all your love support guidance and teaching over the years I love and appreciate you all a lot. 
I didn't bring my envelopes, I forgot them so I need to get some but I will send letters soon. My Preparation days are on Fridays until I get to Georgia.
Love, Sister Weeks
Disclaimer: The spelling and grammar in this letter and all letters following  are purely Rachel and not my responsibility. ~Miriam

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Shortest two and a half minutes ever!

October 2nd came and went and Rachel's eighteen month quest has begun! When we pulled into the MTC the fellow directing traffic gave us a little speech about what to do and told us we had only two and a half minutes to say goodbye so we had better start now! He was so funny and optimistic, and he helped everyone not to feel so on edge and/or weepy. We were number 15 in the car line up. When we pulled up the chaos began. We pulled Rachel's suitcases out and all gave her a hug and she was gone. Just like that! I bet we made it in two minutes it was so fast. She was excited and ready to be serving our Heavenly Father. We will miss her but we are glad that she made this choice.
        I will be updating Rachel's blog through the duration of her mission. (There is none of me hugging her because I was behind the camera:)