Monday, January 26, 2015

Can I not watch one hour?

Hey there family!
     Well it has been a crazy week. I am in Milton now and getting all settled in. My new companion is Sister Grace Castleton -Rudolph.  She is from Molalla Oregon and has been out for about 9 months and has been in this area for 3 months. She is quiet but great. I am excited to be in Milton. I was right about the very wealthy people, there are definitely some huge houses here with intercoms and all. It is a different world. I thought that those things were only real in movies. The ward is great though. They are excited to share the gospel and are doing a great job at it. President and Sister Bennion spoke in our Sacrament meeting yesterday everyone is fired up to do missionary work.
    This week while we were looking for a less active named Pooh. That isn't a joke I am completely for reals. We couldn't find her and decided to try one last time and we found a new investigator! Her name is Amira.  She stopped going church because she was forced to and felt like she didn't have a good experience but she knew that Mormons are always happy. We set a time to come back later that day and we were talking to her and a guy named Sherod walked in. He was talking like he knew what we were talking about and it turns out he is a member! What?! Well we taught her the restoration and she told us at the end, " I really felt it when you said that I kinda want to cry." God has prepared her and put her in a situation to accept his gospel. It was amazing.
     Well my spiritual insight for this week is about the sacrament. Yesterday in Relief Society we had a lesson on the talk by Elder Hamula  "The Sacrament and the Atonement" and an article called An hour to watch with Him. One of the points that stuck out to me as she was talking about it is was we come to church to partake of the Sacrament so it must be important. So if it truly represents Christ himself his flesh and blood, if he were really lying up there would I be acting the way I was acting? Where would my thoughts be? Not that I am jumping up and down and screaming and talking during the sacrament but am I truly letting him cleanse me? On the church website on the homepage it says "Can Sacrament Meeting Change my Life?" we have but 15 minutes to spend with him each week and we often don't even take advantage of it. "Can we not watch with him one hour or 15 minutes?"  It hit me hard what am I doing with my 15 minutes. Elder Hamula said "The ordinance of the sacrament has been called “one of the most holy and sacred ordinances in the Church.” It needs to become more holy and sacred to each of us. Jesus Christ Himself instituted the ordinance to remind us what He did to redeem us and to teach us how we may avail ourselves of His Redemption and thereby live with God again."  and then "Prayer is fundamental at all times, but the Spirit present in that hour of the sacrament is an opportunity to elevate ourselves closer to Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we focus our thoughts on the Lord, it is, in a way, accompanying Him at the moment of the agony He endured when taking upon Himself our sins. It is a time to acknowledge the pain He suffered for us. I want to show him how much he means to me by accompanying him for his grace, mercy and enabling power. He suffered above all can I not wait and watch one hour?
     There are so many good quotes in each talk you should just read them sometime this week before sacrament meeting. It is life changing. Because Sacrament can change lives. But only if we let it.
     Yesterday at church two teenager who attend a Catholic school came to Gospel Principles because they had to do a project on another religion. So pretty much the Elders and us taught the restoration and there were many converts in the room who used to be catholic who piped up and shared their testimonies. It was amazing. The spirit was so strong. I hope they think about what they heard. They seemed intrigued.
     Well we have met a lot of amazing people this week members and nonmembers where we have had the opportunity to share our testimonies that we KNOW that a 14 year old boy saw God and Jesus Christ. That is what sets us a part from all other denominations of Christianity. If you don't know you can find out. Christ's gospel is here on the this earth.
     Well I hope you have a great week. You are in my prayers! Feel the spirit, laugh hard,and look for ways to share what you know with others.
K love you bye!
Love Sister Weeks (Rachel)

Sister Weeks and Sister Perrins.  Best 3 week Companions.  Bye!

Gotta Love Giraffes.

Jervy and Rachel - I will miss her.

My homie Sharece... haha that is what she calls me.

 Linda one of the most Angelic and Christlike ladies on this planet.

Kate and Sister Perrins and I.

Bye Sister Perrins.   You are great!

The Periera's they are my fav. Pretty much my besties.

Rachel and Pam - the cutest ever.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Refiner of Silver

Hey there family!

         Well how is it going? It has been a crazy week. So here it goes this is going to have to be the quick rundown I still have lots to do... oh yeah like packing? Who needs that? Am I packed yet? Absolutely not. I am getting transferred to Milton, GA. Which is called Milton Millionaires - with lots of rich people. Get ready for some pretty sweet pictures. My new companion is Sister Castleton and I have no idea anything about the area so stay tuned for the adventures that are ahead. I am excited. :) On Sunday night President called and released me and told me I was getting transferred, but said he wasn't going to tell me where I was going so I had to wait until Monday morning. Ay ay ay. haha. 
         This week I went on exchange twice. Once with Sister Sanders who serves on the college campus. She came with me to Woodstock. She has never really done much tracting before so she was a little nervous but she did great. On campus they just walk up and talk to people. I think I like tracting more. haha. It seems intimidating to me. They call that contacting. She is a great missionary she has been out for about 6 months and is doing fantastic she has such a positive attitude and faith in the Lords work. Then I went on exchange with Sister Jones. She is in the other companionship of STL's in our zone and we have gone on exchange before. It was lots of fun. She is absolutely hilarious. I loved it. :) She told me she wants me to be her therapist... yeah... haha.
         We had a miracle this week. On Tuesday we were tracting in the rain at an apartment complex and we knocked on the door of one of the maintenance guys and he told us we weren't allowed to be there and to leave. But did we listen? Sure didn't. We knocked the next door and met a woman named Brittani. We told her we were Christ's representatives and asked if we could come in and leave his peace and blessings ( a prayer we use as a finding tool) and she let us right in. After the prayer the spirit was so strong and she opened up to us about how her Mom passed away a couple years ago and that with us showing up it helped her to recognize that her relationship with God has been suffering and she said we could come back. :)
          As I was reading this morning in 1 Nephi there were two verses that really stuck out to me. The first one is 1 Nephi 20:10 "For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction" I love that because it reminds me of a talk I heard called the Refiner of Silver. In the talk they were asking someone whose job it is to refine and purify silver and they asked how it was done. He said that they hold it in the middle of the most intense heat to get rid of all the impurities and he is the one who has to hold it there. Then they asked him how he knew when it was completely pure his response was "oh that is easy, when I can see my reflection in it" I love it. Just thinking of that it gives me chills. It takes me to a verse in Alma 5:14 when he says "is his image in your countenances?" That question is much more piercing with that image in mind. If you are being refined by going through trials and becoming better his image becomes stronger. The last scripture in 1 Nephi 21:16 "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands..." We are a part of him and he remembers us when he looks at his hands. It was just a realization again of how much Christ cares, loves and thinks about us. And am I doing what I can to have his image in my countenance? Is his reflection there? I know that everyone can have that opportunity. He is our Savior AND Redeemer. One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that HE IS THE CHRIST. And I Sister Rachel Weeks will not deny the Christ. 
         Jervy is still doing well. She has some concerns that are holding her back but she is amazing. Out of the many people I have met in Georgia I can honestly say that the words honest humble seeker of truth describe her. Her desire to understand what God wants her to do is amazing. She literally takes notes in our lessons and at church too. There was a stake relief society conference and she came and was taking notes there too. She is amazing. One day she will get baptized. God has been preparing her.
         Well I think that is all for this week. I hope you have a great week. Be happy and stay safe and warm. You are in my prayers. Remember Christ's love and his sacrifice. 

K love you bye!

Love Sister Weeks (Rachel)

    Yesterday was a holiday so p-day was pushed to today.  It is always great to hear from her. Her travel flight plans came today!  I am a wee bit excited.  Can't wait until April 16th.  She does not want to think about it at all so we never mention or talk about it.  She is nervous to come back and join the world and have to make decisions again.  She is doing well and is happy and loving the work.  Transfers are Wednesday so she will be off on a new adventure with a new companion and a new area.  She will be the designated driver and she is not thrilled about that but will be fine.  Thank heavens for GPS!

Rachel in a big chair they found.

Sister Perrins in Big Chair we found.

Sister 's Jones, Weeks, Paulsen, and Perrins at a stake RS Conference. We are the best of friends.

Sister Weeks and Sister Perrins.  Only three weeks as companions.  A record for her.

Woodstock district Jan 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ancestors hear my prayers...

Hey there family!

     So this week was kinda nuts. Humid cold is something completely different and I hope you never have to experience it when it is windy and about 18 degrees outside. YUCK. And if you have I have all too much empathy for you. We had little hotties (hand warmers) and they were totally my saving grace this week. We were holding onto them for dear life. #thestruggleisreal But we survived it and drank lots of hot chocolate. hmmm. :) That is one my favorite things so I ain't even mad. Shout out to Amanda's Christmas present... oh how my family knows me. 

      So once upon a time in interviews with President Bennion he told me to get on white pages and to look up anyone who has the same last name as me in Woodstock. Knock on their doors, share with them family history, ask if we could be related, and then share the Plan of Salvation and then find new investigators. So we have been doing that this week and while we were at a members house they said Sisters that is a little creepy... Why did we not realize this before - well because we are missionaries and will do anything to save souls...haha. And in the process we have got the cops called on us (by their neighbor not our relative) and met a nice Latin family from Mexico that we are obviously not related to.  On that note we have been family history tracting this week and we got to look up a little bit of our own. It is amazing!  I have repented for not being that interested before. I have learned that where we came from is just as important as where we are going. It is all part of Gods plan. We have seen some pretty great miracles from it and we have several appointments to go back and talk with people about their ancestors. Alma 13:24 The angels are helping us declare the Lords word and gospel.

      Also we were saying a prayer before trying someone and it was my turn so instead of praying I sang "Ancestors hear my prayers..." haha it was hilarious and of course then I prayed. There may or may not have been a lot of Mulan jokes flying around this week.  "Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow, dishonor on your whole family..." :) I hope you know what I'm talking about if you don't it has been way to long since you have seen Mulan. "That was close... no that was vile..." hehe

      I have been thinking a lot this week about "mighty prayers" it uses that phrase a lot in the Book of Mormon and there is a section in Preach My Gospel on Praying with Faith. In both places it emphasizes the importance of it when it speaks about mighty prayers in the Book of Mormon. For example, like with the brother of Jared or Enos when they pray mightily.  With the kind of faith they exercise they have revelatory experiences and their prayers are answered in miraculous and special ways. They witness miracles. I was looking back on some notes and I found a question that my MTC teacher had asked us. "When was the last time you allowed yourself to have a revelatory experience while praying or studying the scriptures?" And it hit me again. Do I put every last ounce of strength and energy that I have in my prayers at the end of the night or do I not allow myself to have revelatory experiences while praying. If I am not having those experiences it is my fault. So then as I was studying it and pondering about it the zone leaders called a couple days later and asked us to give a training on exactly that. Heavenly Fathers timing is perfect...haha. He knew what I needed. Mighty prayers receive mighty answers.  I know that the more specific the question, the more specific the answer.

     Well Jervy is still searching and we had a great experience in the lesson with her this week. In the past when we have brought members over her husband has left the room.  Our team up cancelled this week and last and he stayed and helped us teach the lesson even though he has been less active for many years. She was understanding better and the spirit was strong. So we are going to use that for all it is worth. It will be no time if they are unified. He is helping her learn and gaining his testimony back. The Lord works in mysterious ways. :)

     It was a great week even though we were tracting in the cold. :)  I got to go on exchange with Sister Hanks who serves in Kennesaw and she is from the promised land aka Logan, Utah and loves Utah State too. Utah State hey Aggies all the way. It was fantastic she hasn't been out very long but it a cute sister. She is a very loving person. Once again I am so glad I have the opportunity to learn from others.

     I hope you have a great week. You are in my prayers. Laugh always and find joy in all things! :)

K love you bye!

Love Sister Weeks (Rachel)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Changes and Miracles

Hey there family!

     This week has been rather eventful. So I forgot to mention last week  - How? I don't know - but Sister Chapman got emergency transferred to a different area to take a sisters place who went home because of medical reasons. President pulled in the reinforcements because she is a boss missionary and she is 29 so she has the life experience. haha. I sure will miss her. I have had so much fun with her and Peggy. We are such tricksters. But I am excited for my new companion Sister Perrins. She came out at the same time as me as well. She is from Vancouver Washington but her family has moved to Columbia since she has been on a mission. Crazy right? 

     Her Dad is a headmaster for an American High School there. Yay! We both know what it is like to have fathers in education and we have a very high respect and appreciation for it as well. She is 21 and went to BYU-I. I like her lots already and we are so excited for the work here in Woodstock.

     This morning I was reading a talk from the last conference by President Eyring and he was talking about personal revelation and I love this quote from it, he says: "We all know that human judgment and logical thinking will not be enough to get answers to the questions that matter most in life. We need revelation from God. And we will need not just one revelation in a time of stress, but we need a constantly renewed stream. We need not just one flash of light and comfort, but we need the continuing blessing of communication with God." I have learned that repeatedly over the course of being a missionary. His thoughts are not my thought and his ways are not my ways. And his way is totally better. I cannot figure out the answers and plan that will be best by myself it cannot be done without revelation and I am so grateful that he is willing to reach out in love to my pleas to provide me with love guidance, comfort and the answers that I seek daily.  He gives it to me in so many ways. 
     We had a ward fast this week to soften the hearts of Gods children here in Woodstock and there was a special spirit here. There is no time to waste when it comes to the Lords work he is ready whether I am or not. He love is real and I am so grateful for the undeniable strength and guidance that I receive.

      We had a Sisters P-day today.  It was a Spa day. A lot of the Sisters have been stressed lately and Sister Jones is an esthetician  so she did some facial things and I did some nails. It was fun. We got them laughing lots so hopefully it helped. We have some great sisters in our zone.

     I made my cheesecake dip this week. Everyone is in heaven. :) 

     We had a lesson with Tracy and a recent convert Linda at a members house and we talked about testimonies and had a little testimony meeting. It was perfect. They both felt the spirit and we had some opportunities to point out how it shapes and molds us our whole lives and how the Atonement is able to do that and give us the strength we need. The spirit was definitely there testifying of the truth that was spoken.

     We met with Kate as well and we had a little Miracle. She is less active and has been for several years. She hasn't prayed in those years because she felt like God abandoned her. But she recognized that he has been speaking to her and she feels so close to getting a relationship with him again and we invited her to do something that would get her closer and she said she is going to pray. It was an amazing experience. 

     We have seen many little miracles this week and we are so excited to keep working hard. Well that is all for this week. Hope all is well, you are in my prayers! Work hard, Play hard!

K love you bye!

Love Sister Weeks