Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
California Long Beach Mission
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815
Things are going well here in long beach, getting a miracle almost every day it seems. Just this week sister George had a feeling to not follow our plans and felt like we were supposed to visit someone else. We prayed, then I felt like we had to go to the apartment and find a name in the book. We went back and decided on two names on the same street, one didn't live there anymore and the new owner wasn't interested. The second was this lady named gabby who came out here door and said, "Missionaries! I'm meeting with your bishop tomorrow, God sent you didn't he?... I just got off the phone with an LDS friend of mine and prayed for help and you two show up the next second latter." She was in tears and definitely needed some love. She was possibly going through a divorce after 18 years of marriage, has an Autistic boy, and herself and the rest of her kids have ADHD. She is so loving and always puts her family, especially kids, before herself. She was struggling with her autistic child and going through college and desperate for a job, even more so with the threat of becoming a single mom with special needs children to care for. We talked with her for a bit and she told us that no one had told her that her being so family and children focused was so wonderful in a long time and that she was beautiful (which she was). So many things she needed. She is religious in another church, but came this Sunday to our ward for sacrament meeting with her friend, it was so wonderful!!!!
Blessing and miracles do really happen when one is following the spirit and gods plan.
Other than that, Amelia our progressing investigator said she would be baptized! Saying and doing are always two different things, but she is our golden investigator so I don't think she will be trouble. This is Sister George’s first baptism in this area ever and in the last 6 months. It’s a hard mission if you aren't Spanish speaking that is.....
The other day we were traveling in a small tip of our area that's triangular and no members are there. It’s really run down and honestly not safe, but we went there and after a very short time visiting potentials we talked with some people on the street who tipped us off that they were in a gang, not interested, but told us something was definitely going on and to STAY OUT of the area for a while, especially sister missionaries. We followed their advice and got out of there.
It may not be Compton, but some parts of our area puts me on edge a bit. Thank goodness the sisters get cars and we are restricted to only cars after 6 PM. Thankfully other than that area, most of the sketchy areas we have got wiped clean two years ago by the cops. They even destroyed and rebuilt over the gang headquarters in the one ways when they drove them out and took them in to jail. Some small pockets still appear, but most have been driven out now. The police do their best to keep them out of Norwalk neighborhoods near where our apartment is.
I heard that some elders in Compton a while ago got literally picked up off the street, thrown in a van, driven outside the city, and then dumped out by the gang members inside
the same van. They told them to stay out of the whole city till they told them they could come back! Something nasty was going on with the rival gangs and they didn't want the missionaries killed in the process on accident... Other than Asian gangs, most really respect and even protect missionaries from harm. That doesn't mean all do, but almost all do. Quite odd.....
I got to go to the LA temple today, even got some family names done. Such a neat temple! So very different from any I had ever been to. All are always a bit different, but this one is even more so. P-day today as well because of it, so strange to have a Tuesday P-day.
Yesterday we cleaned out couch out real good though and went to lunch at a beautiful sculpture park in Cerritos with Terri. Terri was going through a very hard time trying to adjust to life back in California and with her family. Her son makes her worry that he will go down the same spiral she did. I hope not. She also has been feeling so worthless and lonely lately. She is so used to having EVERYTHING she has taken away every few months when she was homeless years ago and some bad feelings from her becoming a member. Just so much going on for her right now. She almost died in prison with hep C years ago, that's when she finally realized things and went 180 on her life. The squirrels who played with her on outside lunch time and her sheer will to not die in prison kept her alive. She is so sweet and kind, I just love her and hope her family changes and treats her better soon. She is also still trying to get used to being a member, 1 month and still going strong. While at lunch she gave some really great advice and wisdom to Sister George and I, with her being at rock bottom and so many other things, she had to get over so much. It was just what we both needed, and her too I hope.
Still so many people who are so kind and let us in, want to hear of Christ... but they are all good.... so disappointing. Most missionaries get the honor of doors slammed in their face, I wish that happened more here actually. Sad as it is sometimes, I wouldn't say it is a waste of my time to visit since who knows, they may join latter on. But for now, I COULD be with serious investigators, instead of internigators (those who love visits, but GO NO WHERE)... so frustrating. Oh and they tend to go off topic and yammer on a good long while too! Most our days get spent on internigators, and the occasional bible basher that just can't stop bothering us to have just one more visit.
The elders, poor, poor elders, have one such person who they have deemed a thorn in their side. They said that once they get new phones or something they are very tempted to write in the area book WARNING, do not visit, accept calls, or ANYTHING, from this person. They are nice, but GO NO WHERE. They keep saying they want to be baptized, but do nothing to change or read anything. They do not understand why they need to be baptized on top of that. Oddest case I have ever heard of. I think they only want to for benefits, nothing else, which is not a good reason.
Other than some interesting people, Which Norwalk is famous for apparently, it has been really fun. Some days trying, but fun. Down to a roach a day, but at this rate, I don't think they ever truly will be gone. Quite sad.
Some of the photos I have taken lately, sorry for not having one last week, we got cut short on time. Please let me know how you are doing, I always love to hear back.
Photo notes etc.
a laser tag style (meaning with places to hide behind) dodge ball game with stress balls..... It was fun, especially when the second week the elders decided to turn off half the lights.... and the balls don't kill you when they hit you.r