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Monday, September 29, 2014

Meet the Mormons :)

Hey there Family!

      We are still trying to work hard in the Woodstock area to find those that have been prepared by the Lord. As we were knocking doors this week we met a lady named Samantha. It was so cool! She opened right up and said "Oh you are the latter day saints, tell me about that mormon book!" We didn't even say anything and she comes out with that. At first I was a little worried that she has heard some of the negative rumors and later we found out that she has but she doesn't believe any of them and has repeatedly stood up and defended our faith. Something that she isn't even a part of.... yet. :) She has a friend in High School who wasn't a member then but has since then converted and it has made a very drastic change in his life and she has noticed how at peace he is with his life and his knowledge of Christ. As our conversation went on she kept getting more and more excited about how she wanted to learn. She has been to many churches and feels that they are not all led by God or in Christs name and she wants to find one that is. She just moved to the area about 3 weeks ago so of course we empathized with the humidity and how frizzy it makes our hair. haha. She said she admires everything about this church and I have to say that I do as well. I will never back down from this truth that I know and we can all come to feel that. She took The Book of Mormon and wanted to read. I am excited to go back and talk with her because that book changes lives I know it has mine. We were led to her by the hand of the Lord as we prayed where we should find his Children whose hearts are prepared. I love being able to bear my testimony! His hand really is in this work and he love us all. As we left she said seeing you is like a vision it is a perfect day and I am so glad that I got to meet you! You are a blessing.  We were told that by 2 different people that day it was amazing.  

     This Tuesday we had the opportunity to be able to watch the movie "Meet the Mormons"  that is coming to theatres in a few places soon. Since we are missionaries we don't get to go but.... It was FANTASTIC. I loved it so much and if you ever get a chance to watch it I would suggest it to anyone. It is so inspirationial and they did a very good job with it. It had half the missionaries in the room in tears... haha. I just had a dumb smile on my face the whole time. I loved it. Mormons really aren't that werid. :) We're full of life, have normal lives, and want the best for our families just like everyone out there. Everyone wants to meet the mormons now. :)
 
     The link for the trailer: Not as good as the real things but it will have to do. 
 
     I absolutely LOVED the Womens conference. I loved a combination of two talks. President Uchtdorfs was fantastic and I loved Sister Marriott's as well.  They were both exactly what I needed to hear and they were answers to prayers. I loved how Sister Marriot talked about the Atonement so much.  It is such a deep concept and I find that I can never learn enough about it but I love being able to understand it better it strengthens my testimony and faith in it. To truly not just believe in Christ but to BELIEVE Christ. I feel like I struggle with weaknesses and wanting to improve so much but also I think that we are our own worst enemy and pride often stops us from improving in certain ways but the message that stuck out to me that I have heard before but hit me more this time was through weaknesses we can develop strength. We just put our trust in Him who knows. As I was pondering that concept and then the quote from President Uchtdorf  "Heavenly Father is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today and always." I felt so much love from Heavenly Father. I am weak and I do have many things to improve on but it is possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I was reading PMG during the sacrament yesterday the section about the Atonement and this stuck out to me "As we rely on the Atonment of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. ALL that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." That is such a true eternal concept and I love it. 

      Well, I think that is all for this week. I love you all and hope that all is well. You are in my prayers! :) Have a great week!

Love Sister Weeks (Rachel)
 
 
Rachel and Sister Haderlie  having lunch outside before church starts.

Do you see the road that the GPS says is there?  I think it is wrong!
 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Aliens from the Peanut Gallery

Hey there family!

     We have been visiting a couple in the ward that are older and not active. They joined the church about 30 years ago. We asked him about the day he got baptized and the feelings that he has and he remembered them clearly, he choked up telling us about his experiences. It was a testimony to me that a witness born of the Holy Ghost is not something that leaves our thoughts or our hearts. It is meant to be that way. Heavenly Father wants us to treasure and remember the testimony building experiences that we have. We invited him to start reading the Book of Mormon again a chapter a day and he said "how about 2?" It was amazing we went back a week later and he has already read 20 chapters. He said he is noticing a difference and he said it is the best book ever. I agree with him there. :) It can change lives.

     I have been reading that book that Mom sent me a little while ago.  I got permission to read it as long as it was during lunch or P-day and not studies. It is called The Power of Everyday Missionaries. If you ever have a chance you should read it. It is a completely inspired book and has so many good insights and ideas. I love it and I haven't even finished it yet. Good thing it isn't super long. He talks about the experiences he has had sharing the gospel and the successful ways of being a member missionary and inviting people to come closer to Jesus Christ. He talks about success is in the invitation when we do it all out of love relationships grow. It reminds me of the last verse in 2 Nephi 2 just the last part. He says "And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls." Truly that is why we do all we do. Because of the true compassion we have for the everlasting welfare of peoples souls that we love. And when we share what we know and love we find more happiness together. Everyone needs the gospel. He talks about that as well. I have learned that many of times. I am not in charge it is the Lord and he knows who is prepared to receive his message. My job is to just thrust in my sickle with my might and then in return the joy comes more abundantly into my life as well as the spirit. Turning outward is what Christ did and what we should all do as well. Not always easy but ALWAYS worth it. 

     We visited one of our investigators Sara again. Her parents took her phone away so we finally figured out why it was so hard to contact her. haha. She was having some health issues because she is going to have a baby and she fell down the stairs. Yikes. She is doing better though nothing broken and they are both okay. But the bishop lives right down the street and he was available to give her a blessing. It was pretty amazing. The priesthood is real she felt it calm her down and she said several times thank you that helped a lot. The spirit really does pierce our hearts in a very real way. 

     One last one we met with a man named Mike he lives across from a member and he has many questions. Brother Monette came to the lesson with us and it ended up in them discussing life on other planets and if aliens are real....(I am better understanding what the "peanut gallery means)  Well in that lesson I got good practice on keeping people on track on the real part of the lesson.... THE GOSPEL. haha it was too funny. I couldn't decide whether to just laugh or wait til they were done. We made it through. He really does have a sincere interest in wanting to know where God wants him. We have the opportunity to meet with him because he saw us visit Brother Monette and mentioned that we always looked happy. A smile can do wonders the gospel truly does bring peace. My favorite scripture proves right once again D&C 123:17. :) Do all things cheerfully and then God will manifest his hand in our life. 

     Have a great week I love you all and hope that all is well. You are always in my prayers. Be happy and have fun you never know the difference it will make it someones life.

Love Sister Weeks 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Truly it's in the little things.

Hey there Family!

     We were doing service making a meal for a local charity and cutting up onions. Well I haven't ever cut onions or been around them my whole life and while we were doing it my eyes were on FIRE. They were watering so bad and they wouldn't stop. I had to rub a lemon on my head and go outside - they burned for the rest of the night. Ha ha my body does not like onions.  I think I'll stay away. Red and puffy eyes are super attractive... ha ha. 

     Also can we all learn a lesson here. When you answer the door please make sure you do it while clothed. FULLY clothed. Please. Put on pants, and a shirt. And don't tell me "ain't nobody got time for dat" because I can wait. 

     This week I went on exchange with Sister Chapman.  She is in the ward and one of the Sister Training Leaders. She came out with me and it was super fun! We were pumped to be together because both of our comps have food allergies of things we like to eat. So we were tracting and we knocked on a door of a lady named Angie. Her house smelled so good! So I told her and she said it was homemade bread. She said "hold on a second it is done I'll give you some" Tender mercies are real. ha ha. We had just been talking about how we wanted homemade bread and we got it. Heavenly Father listens and knows us. Remind anyone of a story in the relief society session once? ha ha. It was great she home makes it all  - even grinds her own wheat and makes her own butter. It was a little piece of heaven. :) Heavenly Father really does love, listen, and watch out for ALL of his children in even the littlest things. It also softened her heart a little bit so we got to talk to her more. 

     It really is the little and simple things. 

     I love a scripture in 2 Nephi 31:20. The scripture says " Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." I love that scripture for several reasons. I love that it is all about action. It takes work to be able to do all of those things and that is what is require of us. Our work is to keep the commandments (D&C 11:20) I love the phrase perfect brightness of hope I feel like it includes a lot of imagery and I can see that having hope it actually brings a brightness into our countenance. Then I love about enduring to the end too. In Hebrew enduring to the end translates as pressing forward joyfully with purpose. I love that it doesn't sound like it is a drag but truly Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and have a purpose no matter where we are at in our life. :) I love it!

     Well, I think that is all for this week. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week you are in my prayers. 

LOVE YOU BYE!

Love Sister Weeks (Rachel)
 
(Transfers will be this week and it looks like she will be staying with her companion awhile longer - maybe till she leaves the first part of December.  Only time will tell.  They are working hard to rebuild the trust of the ward and start a teaching pool.  They have been working long and hard.  She is in a bit more of an affluent area and it is way different than before.  But she still loves the work.  she has had a lot of comps with food allergies so that has kept things interesting for her too.  Oh well.  I'm not sure they get fed real often, but she is still as cute as ever.  Keep her in your prayers as they try to find more people to teach.
 
Monica and her family from Greensboro.  She misses them!

Rachel and Cartez before she left.

Rachel and Dasia --That is too cute!

Rachel on the front porch of branch in Madison.

Cartez, Rachel and Dasia before she left.

Rachel loves her gummy frogs!  Too bad she doesn't have a peach ring to go along with it.
 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Goals set and accomplished

Hey there family!


     This week was a great week we have had so many opportunities to bear testimony. There is a recent convert in the ward, Brother Monette, that we have been visiting lately and he is on fire with his testimony. He took us to one of his neighbors and was just going to leave and let us talk to him but he came back and said he had been studying Preach My Gospel and wanted to be there for the lesson because missionary work is better that way. Then he called us several days later saying that he had 3 other people in his neighborhood that he wanted us to come and stop by and meet. He said they can push me away if they want but I am going to talk to them about it and pray that they listen. His friends hearts are truly softening. The Lord is definitely in charge. :) We are so stoked to go meet with them this week.

    We were visiting a member who hasn't' been to church in a while - Brother Curry. His wife goes out of town pretty often so he gets left home alone a lot. He said he just really likes sandwiches. So he is kinda lonely and we went to visit him, he loves the visits. So we went over and started asking him questions about his baptism and what he remembered and how he felt. It was so amazing. It is not something that can easily be forgotten even 30 or 40 years later.  Even after not coming to church for a while he still remembers the feelings he had. It was clear that he wanted it back. We invited him to read 2 chapters of the Book of Mormon a day and see what he feels he said "Of course I'll do it, I'll be your star student" ha ha. I am so excited for him.  He has never been to the temple but while we were talking to him I could see their potential of going and getting sealed. I really want them to make it there one day. Hopefully that day can be soon. :)

     The book of Mormon is the best book on the face of the planet. Man oh man. I started it over again after reading it and marking the references to the atonement and it is amazing how much I learn each time. One of my favorites is in 1 Nephi 11. Nephi talks about his true desire to know of a surety what his father knows and he sets the perfect pattern for seeking revelation or for goal setting. First he starts with a desire, then he believes that the Lord can make it possible, and then he ponders. By just putting the time forth to do those things he receives a glorious revelation and gets to see Jesus Christ. Amazing! It reminds me a lot of the talk by Elder Holland "Lord I Believe" pretty much my favorite talk of all time. He says "be not afraid only believe" Nephi showed that he was willing to receive the answers and put aside his fear and believed. Also in Preach My Gospel there is a quote that says "goals reflect the desires of our hearts and the vision of what we CAN accomplish" I love that because it is possible just look at Nephi. That is what I am trying to do with our goals.  They are stretching us, but it is possible. 

     Yesterday we were really pushing to meet our goal for contacts and we had tracted a bunch during the week but we were running up and down the street and the driveways so we could talk to as many people as we could and do it meaningfully. We did it! ha ha We were pretty sweaty and gross by the end of it but Heavenly Father opened so many doors. WE MET OUR GOAL! Things that we CAN accomplish. :)

     About my comp. Her name is Sister Dayla Haderlie, she is from San Diego California... I already said that I think. She has been out 15 months, she is a lot taller than me. ha-ha. She doesn't eat gluten... bummer another comp that doesn't oh well. I can't think of anything else....  (She was home schooled and was going to  BYU-I)

Well, have a great week. I love ya lots and pray for you always! Pictures next week.

Love Sister Weeks (Rachel) :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In the Lords hands....the field is white all ready to harvest

Hey there Family,

     So I am now in Woodstock in the Marietta Zone. It is definitely a lot different from Greensboro,  as in there are a lot more people and houses - very big houses that we actually knock on. It was super intimidating at first, but I am so stoked for what is ahead. We have had a lot of really cool experiences this week talking with people. The first day was great. I had a prompting  to pray about the spots where we knock on doors because of the miracles that I have seen from it in past areas and we have met many great people. It strengthens my testimony in the statement "the field is white already to harvest" That is a FACT. Not just an opinion.  The question should never be is the field white already to harvest but, are we willing to thrust in our sickles with our might? We have been trying to build our teaching pool and talk to everyone that we see and show Heavenly Father that we are willing to do his will. We have talked to a lot of people this week and I felt the spirit very strongly in our conversations.  I love having those experiences. There are many out there that are seeking for truth. 

     One particular experience sticks out in my mind. We met a guy named Dave who lost one of his grandchildren a couple years ago to a brain tumor and he said "I know it's crazy, I am 55 and I am still seeking." The look in his eyes touched my heart.  He wants truth and peace so badly and doesn't know where to find it. The opportunity to look someone in the eyes and bear testimony is so great. He is a firefighter and didn't give a specific time to meet but I hope that we can go back. I know that he felt the spirit. 

     We got the opportunity to teach a girl named Sara who has had kinda a hard life and hasn't been involved in a church very much her whole life but wants a change. She is so sincere and willing. The awesome part is she lives down the street from the bishop and knows some of his children. She even asked us if she could come to church! Yay. Her Dad wouldn't let her this week but we are praying that his heart is softened and she will be able to come this week. 

     During those experiences I know that it is no longer me, but Heavenly Father working through me to talk to his precious child who is yearning for something more.

     I read a talk this week that I LOVED. It talked about the varying levels of missionaries but I think it counts for all members of the church. There are different levels 1st: rebellious and gets caught. 2nd: Rebellious and disobedient but don't get caught and have many regrets and don't learn much. 3rd: Works hard but withholds their heart from the Lord not letting him mold them. 4th: Truly gives everything, including their hearts. Turns it all over to him and he takes care of them. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." They don't have regrets because they worked their hardest and found true conversion. I just love that. I want to give my all. To tell him. Here it is Lord you can have it all, including my heart. I want nothing but to do your will. So there are two scriptures that remind me of it all,   The first one is in Moroni 10:32, "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God."
      And the second one is in D&C 4, "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day."

     Heavenly Father doesn't just want our might, mind, and strength  - he wants our heart too. And when we truly turn it over to him that is when we can find ourselves and what he wants us to be. That is when we can be an instrument in his hands and that is when His will is our will. One in the same. 

     Well I am feeling pretty good, a little overwhelmed at times because I want to do my best and find the people that the Lord has prepared in this Woodstock area. I have learned a lot this past week and I am excited for the experiences ahead where I can bear testimony to our brothers and sisters here in the south. We are truly blessed. 

     Love you lots have a great week. You are in my prayers. Laugh often and remember all that we have to be grateful for!

Love Sister Weeks (Rachel)
(She told me that she lives on a golf coarse again with a widowed sister.  She said in the morning she can hear people  teeing off using their woods.  She is about 15-20 minutes from the church  now but it is a ward with another set of sister missionaries, the STL, and also a set of Elders, but they do get fed more often than before.  The area she is in has a lot of large homes and is considered one of the largest neighborhoods in America.  Her comp has been out for 15 months. Today is month # 11 for her.)