Monday, December 30, 2013

White Christmas....YEAH!!

Hola Familia!
     It was sooo good to see you all on Christmas and talk to you! What a wonderful blessing technology is. I love it. It was a great Christmas, we ate lamb for dinner which was new, but it was pretty good and we had homemade rolls. I. Am. In. Love. They were tasty. Then we went tracting and met with the Cannon Family. They are so cute, they gave us both a prayer necklace and some treats. We tried to convince them not to get us presents but she said "honey you are in the south now, deal with it." We did. People give us everything. If I took everything that people offered I wouldn't be able to fit it all in my suitcases. They just think missionaries need everything. I have already acquired a lot of things.

      Of course, I always wear the skirts that you made for me, they are very comfortable and go with my clothes! I like them a lot and I really appreciate you making them for me!  (I asked her how the skirts I made her were working.  I never see them in pictures)

     I have had a little cough (depends on who you ask) Lately as well, I don't know what is up with it but hopefully it goes away soon. That is no bueno that the Elders got sick, I pray that, that doesn't happen to us.  (The elders in our ward got food poisoning and were sick I told her)

      THE BAPTISM WAS AMAZING. The end. Just kidding, it was a fantastic day and the spirit was really strong. Our event planning skills proved to be pretty effectual because it all went smoothly and they were very happy. They have so much light and happiness now and their love for each other has grown. I am literally so grateful to be a part of their lives and be able to witness the miracles that take place in lives because of the Gospel and the Atonement. They are already making plans to go to the temple in a year and be sealed. They were confirmed members of the church on Sunday! Yay! On Saturday at the baptism the 2nd counselor in the Bishopric asked my to talk in church on Sunday.... oh the life of a missionary. So I talked in church. Yikes. First talk of my life that I talked in church and not read a talk in church or said something that I had memorized. It was interesting and I think it went well, Heavenly Father helped me a lot and they said I was the youth speaker so I didn't have to talk for very long. Because I only had 45 minutes to prepare it that morning. Sister Parker said I should get up there and read and then turn around and say there is a 5 minute talk with a 5 minute warning. Not to worry I didn't say that. It was close but I didn't. I think that I should be done giving talks and training for a couple weeks...  All went well and we are so excited for the Cannon family. They just look like they belong and they have so much light and are so happy.

     We didn't do anything. Heavenly Father placed them in our path already prepared and ready to be dunked. I am grateful for the opportunity and the trust Heavenly Father gives all of us in letting us be a part of his eternal plan.

      In the Book of Mormon Mosiah 18:26 I love what it says it is through our diligent study and work that we receive knowledge and that we are able to see Heavenly Fathers hand in our life. There are tender mercies all around us. When we study we are able to feel the spirit so much more in our lives. I read that and I wonder how can I not want to study and be grateful for the time I do have to study when the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is the fruit of those studies. Heavenly Father gives us blessing ten fold for putting in a little bit of effort. His is a loving and merciful father and I am so grateful.

      This week we were on our way to an appointment and left an hour early and stopped at every gas station on the way to Athens to find people to talk to. It was a lot of fun. Everybody needs the gospel! :)  I asked her about tracting and this is what she said:  Almost all of the people that we have had lessons with we found tracting, a few referrals but mostly tracting. We pray about it and pick on the map that we have in our apartment or tract around less actives or members or say chose the right and turn on a street. Then we tract all the houses. President has asked us to tract 2 hours a day and promised blessing because of it so we do our best to do it and to get  in our 10 contacts a day. Sometimes we go gas station contacting, it is pretty fun. :)   This week we were tracting and met a mean lady and I said looks like she needs to scratch her mad spot and get glad... Oh the sayings I got from you, grandma, and pops! Apparently they come in more  handy than she ever thought.

       Well I hope you all have a great week, I love you lots and hope the break is fun. Be good, laugh lots and serve always. I pray for you always.

Love you BYE!
Love Rach
The Cannon Families Baptism day with Sister Weeks and Parker

"White Christmas"  Cannon Baptism day 12/28/2013

Reading the scriptures before opening the gift from my family!

I need this after all the candy I received!

Christmas Candy!!!!

My Family gifts from the Mission Christmas Party - Yeah my man shirt!

My sock and gifts from my family.  This is this same sock my mom received from Gma full of gift on her mission.

The reception after the wedding and baptism

Reception after the wedding and baptism

Aggie fans - Rachel and Sister Nelson (STL)

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Chirstmas!

Hola Familia!

Feliz Navidad!!! Como estas?
     No I can't believe that it is already almost Christmas. Being on a mission is like being in a time warp. Days go by fast and slow and it is almost like time doesn't exist sometimes.
    The Cannon Family are facing a lot of opposition but are getting married, baptized and then having a reception afterwards this Saturday. Boy do we have our jobs cut out for us. Who knew that missionaries were event planners... We are so lucky to be a part of their lives.
     We had the mission Christmas party on Thursday... 240 missionaries all in one cultural hall hugging and talking. There is no reigning them in. But it was lots of fun, we had a talent show and there are a lot of talented missionaries here! There were probably 8 tables stacked high with packages for missionaries. I did open mine then... I couldn't wait, patience wasn't my strong point that day... I got most excited about my man shirt! Aahhh Yeah!! And cherry cordial kisses oh and toblerone!! And everything else. It was a lot of fun, thank you so much! I really appreciate it, you guys are the best!! :) It was all good, don't worry it isn't gone yet... :) It was fun to see everyone and see how they have changed or stayed the same. I feel like the MTC was like 2 years ago!
      We will have time on Christmas to open the gifts.... if I can make it that long. :) We are just going to call that our exercise... :) Shhhh don't tell we'll do a few push ups or something! I'm not sure I know what you mean by it will take time and another gift that I will get when I return... What the?!? You can't tell me stuff like that and then leave me in suspense for another 15ish months. How rude! I guess I'll just have to deal with it or something and find people to teach to keep my mind off of it! :) (I sent her a bunch of gifts that  have scriptures on them and she will have to look them up before she opens them to try and guess what is inside.  It may take quite awhile.  I also got her something to use at college when she returns.  I will show her when we skype.)
      Well not much else to say that I can think of, we have just been working with the Cannon and witnessing miracles and tender mercies everyday! Heavenly Father sent us to Watkinsville and he is doing all the working and giving us even more blessing! I am very grateful! I hope you all have a great time off of school and a Merry Christmas until I talk to you on  Wednesday! I love you lots and can't wait, be happy, have fun and stay out of trouble! :)
Love Rach

Rachel and her New Georgia Bulldogs shirt
Sister Weeks and Sister Parker wish you a Merry Christmas

Monday, December 16, 2013

Figgy pudding......PRUNES!!!

Dear Family,

     It has been a great week! We have been meeting with the Cannon's everyday and they are just soak everything up. I wish I had a before and after picture because there is a noticeable difference.  They have so much more hope and peace now. They are truly amazing and I am so blessed to be able to witness them coming to Christ and to see the change in them. We talked to them about eternal families last night and they loved it and want to go get sealed in a year. I was on exchange with Sister Blaylock this week and she is so fun! I love it, but we were teaching them and a member of the ward came over to give them a Priesthood blessing. The spirit was so strong it was indescribable. Heavenly Father gave them so much peace and comfort and promised them that everything would be alright. The priesthood is an amazing thing, it is amazing to see Heavenly Fathers power working so strongly here on this earth. Satan is working on them pretty hard and giving them a lot of opposition but it is amazing how strong they are. They got divorced 2 months ago and got back together 5 hours later and I had a few suspicions that they weren't married. We found out that they aren't  - so they are getting married and baptized on he same day! It will be a busy but really great day! They are just so amazing!

     Exchanges was a lot of fun! We had a lot of laughs and I love being able to see other missionaries perspectives. Sister Blaylock is one of our Sister Training leaders and is a great example. She is very kind, caring and compassionate. I learned a lot. I never want to let a moment pass me by where I am not letting Heavenly Father change and mold me into what he wants me to be, this is a really great experience that I have been given and I feel like I have already learned so much. I am very grateful!

      This week we had the ward Christmas party and a member made figgy pudding. And it was kind of strange... I took a couple bites of it and a guy at our table yelled "PRUNES, prunes, prunes!" I was in the middle of taking another bite and he said that he was just trying to warn me before I took another bite because it is made out of prunes.  We asked him questions about it and all he would say is prunes! I was dying of laughter it was hillarious. But I didn't take any more bites. :) He said that people in the south eat some weird nasty things... I agree on a few things. PRUNES!
      We are having a mission Christmas party on Thursday, that is where Sister Bradford and I are playing the piano. I will get to talk to you on Christmas day via skype for 40 minutes... I haven't found out when but I do know where. I will let you know! Our church is at 11:30 on Sunday's but we are changing to 9:00 in a few weeks.

      I am glad that I went visiting so much with you Mom while you were Relief Society president. It has taught me lots! We went to visit a lady that fits into the crazy category. The elders told us not to go there  - they just didn't go visiting with their moms enough!

      I can't wait to talk to you guys at Christmas and hope that you have a great week! Keep up the good work and look for missionary opportunities!
Love you lots!
Love Rach

Hey this is my cousin Elder Young and we are in the same district!

St. Nick left candy in my shoe.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Everybody and their DOGS

Hey Family!

EVERYBODY here has a dog. Oh wait they don't just have a dog they have like 10 dogs and it is terrible because they all come at me and I almost leak myself every time it happens... Embarrassing, but I can't help it. There is no such thing as a nice dog. This week we went to 3 houses in a row that had 5 or more dogs. NO BUENO. And the Elders in our ward don't help by telling us that they got bit by a dog 3 times in one week. Boy will be boys.

Not too many interesting things this week just normal food. We haven't been able to practice the song together again but hopefully today. There was a relief society activity on Saturday and the lady had a baby grand piano and Sister Parker told her I played so I ended up having to play, but it wasn't too bad because our investigators were there and she told me it was beautiful and that she got chills. I have had a couple opportunities to play for investigators which has been pretty cool, it is amazing how the spirit works, and before we walked into one house he let me know that she was going to ask me to play and I did and she started crying... the piano was pretty out of tune.. Just kidding, she said she loved it.
This week one day when I was getting ready I dropped by toothbrush in the toliet... NASTY. It was so gross an Sister Parker left her planner at the store so it was kind of a tender mercy so I could go an get a new one. I still am playing in District meeting which is going pretty well it gives me a little bit of practice.
We went to the Watkinsville Christmas tree lighting on Friday. Tiny town=tiny tree. And I can't even believe it because it was 73 degrees AND it was December 6th, how does that even happen. But the next day it was freezing and I had to wear a coat.
We met the most special family this week! I am in awe. The Cannon's they are amazing. We met them on Thanksgiving and I walked up to them with Sister Parker and said that we were representatives of Jesus Christ and he sent us to their home to leave with them his peace and blessings (people in the south are much more receptive to a prayer so that is one of our finding tools) and they looked at us weird and said we could come back the next day. We did and they have a date for the 28th of December!! They are our miracle family we have met with them 3 or 4 times and they came to church and the relief society activity. They told us on Thursday that when we walked up to them they had just been talking about finding a church to go to. SAY WHAT?! Heavenly Father knows exactly what he is doing.  We went to visit a less active by them that one of the Elders told us to go and visit and decided to tract, it was amazing. We are meeting with them again tonight! We are praying so hard for them because they really are amazing. They came to the Christmas devotional last night and it was so good. Weird side note, it comes on at 8:00 here because of the time difference, it was a little strange.
We have been able to witness a lot of miracles and our motto is "Work hard, Play hard" We find happiness and joy in the work and do our best to work hard and laugh lots.
It was a great week and there are only 16 more days until Christmas I can't believe it, it truly is a wonderful time of year! The birth of our Savior is so special and I am glad that we have the opportunity to be able to celebrate it. I wish you the best and hope that you have a great week. Love you and miss you lots and you are always in my prayers. Until next time.
Love Rach

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Miricle of a loaf of bread

Hey Yall!

      My week has been great! We have seen a lot of tender mercies this week and it has been great. Thanksgiving was good. So so good. I do have the recipe for sweet potato pie but nobody makes it as good as that. Good to know that I finally got my deposit back!

      I. Love. The. A. It is so cool and I wish I could see it in person but I am so glad you sent me a picture. The Aggie's are pretty awesome. :)

       We didn't have anybody come to church this week because of the Holidays but we're praying for some next week!

       The weather has been quite a bit colder and was 28 on Thanksgiving while we were outside helping with a Turkey Trot race. It was fun but I am so thankful that I got to wear pants. Because it was pretty nippy! We have had quite a bit of rain and I am pretty sure it is raining right now, it was when we came in anyways...

      I did in fact find Cherry cordial kisses at Walmart and it was worth every single penny to get them. I eat them on rough days and now I just tell myself that everyday is a rough day so I can have one. :)

     Last week Sister Parker and I had a prompting to make a loaf of Pumpkin bread to one of the families that we have been visiting who have been less active for a lot of years. They have been really receptive to us and the ward says that no one was able to get in before us and if they did they would meet for a little while then cancel. So we took them the bread with a little note and left it with their son because the parents weren't even home. When we came to our next appointment they were amazed and they opened right up to us and committed to come to church on Sunday because of that. They said that us taking time and money to give that to them was amazing and they were very grateful and the Dad was almost in tears thanking us and he left his brothers house early to come back to our appointment because he said that he wants his kids to have the comfort that the gospel can bring so he is going to start coming back. All because of a loaf a bread from a mix that we didn't think would be that big of a deal. Heavenly Father knows exactly what people need and I am grateful that he let us help them.

     Our investigator that had a baptismal date dropped of the face of the planet and we haven't seen or talked to her since. We are pretty sad, Satan is really working hard on people. The family that said they were going to come to church texted us an hour before because 4 of their 5 kids were up all night throwing up. People are getting the Satan flu. Dumb Satan. But the family is committed and they do want to come back so we are praying for them and really excited.

     Thanksgiving was so good! We ate with a member and the trio of sisters that are in the UGA campus branch. Sister Bradford is with them and we are going to probably play that musical number that you sent me for our mission Christmas party slash talent show. We'll see how it goes you know how I am about counting... :)

      As of this week I am the new district piano player for district meetings which should be interesting hope it all goes well. And my training on hope was well... It is over and it went okay. But I had to go after Elder Evans our district leader who is like celestial... I don't know how I was supposed to follow that but whatevs. :)

    It was a great week and I hope things are going well for you! I love you guys and miss you lots and can't wait to talk to you at Christmas!
      Until next time, Peace, love, prayers, blessing, and hugs!

Love Sista Rach