Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
California Long Beach Mission
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815
Things are changing with Sister George going home. My new companion is Sister Paw. She is from Tailand and been here for almost a year. I am so excited to be with her. I also found out that we will now be the only missionaries in our ward because they took out the elders, and we will white wash into their area AND our area as well. I know I will be able to do it, but it still is so much to handle. On the upside we no longer have to worry about constantly calling the elders to go to Terri or the Beckers all the time.
We will be taking over lessons for Tipei (pronounced "teepee" like an Native American dwelling). He is from Nepal and is so great! He has such an incredible memory and absorbs everything we say like a sponge, and even better is his retention is better than any member I have ever seen. He reads religiously from The Book of Mormon, goes to church almost every week when he can, and memorizes and recites with exactness parts of Joseph Smith's vision and story from beginning of his life to the organization of the church! His wife can only meet early in the morning or late at night so it will be tricky working with them both. I haven't met her, but as far as I know she is very interested also. We will also meet with the Sheifers, a almost blind couple who are amazing and the husband is a principle for a school for the blind. Sister Sheifer is amazing and wants so badly to go to the temple. Her husband as well but he's inactive due to some ward members telling him not to come with his guide dog (which IS ALLOWED in church buildings like everywhere else in the world) and was very hurt by that and hasn't come back to church. Many people in the ward are wanting to go to the temple, and I am really pushing for the temple prep class to start up so four people at the least can prepare to enter the temple. Sister Sheifer in fact was 1 lesson away from going, but was denied because "by the book you weren't here for the first lesson, therefore you cannot come take the class." She at the time was finishing a family history class with her husband at the time as well.... I love this ward, but I honestly wish they would be less pharisees about the book and would for pitty's sake let people in the classes! I have never heard of such a thing. I myself was late 1 class due to the exact same situation, but I got personal classes outside of church to get me prepared in time to go which wasn't necessary, but I did it because I felt like I should before I enter the temple. Anyways, I will work on that with Sister Paw and the ward council to help people enter the temple.
Other than that, Luis dropped off the face of the planet, haven't heard from him in a few days. He got a friend/girlfriend and has been going after her rather than baptism as of late.... and still after baptism at the same time (even though he has the strong desire and testimony to be married to her for time and eternity in the temple one day after baptism and wanted to badly for us to meet her and do lesson with them both.... some days I don't understand people). Sadly, we will most likely drop him this week unless he goes to church and continues to progress. Sad day.
Amelia finally has a date, her last wall to get over was she was worried her date to go in for an interview for citizenship would land on the same day as her baptism. Our solution was do it after church on a Sunday, September 20, and no need to worry. Put God first and he will always pour out blessings and make everything work out in the end.
We went to a funeral because Sister George needed to play piano, but then she forgot she was double booked for a baptism to play piano for also that would overlap. After some quick calls we got it covered, but then when we came, the person being baptized was an hour and a half late to their own baptism, and we had to leave for Sister George's interview with President Tew. Such a stressful Saturday.
Most of the rest of the week we met with the Beckers and read scriptures, watched Mountain of the Lord with them and finished it, made conference pancakes (Utah style apple German pancakes) for dinner with the Beckers on Sunday, did street contacting and fixing up the area book for when I take over the area. We did go out with Sister Tew and had three wonderful lessons with her.
Jerry was truly amazing and prepared! He read the entire pamphlet we gave him, and told us God answered his prayer. After we came, the darkness that was in his home disappeared. He kept the pamphlet under his pillow every night and even without us asking, summarized the entire pamphlet to us and bore his testimony of the difference of reading it has already made in his life! His wife wasn't able to attend the lesson, but it was amazing! Such a great lesson, and Sister Tew said it was the first time she had ever listened to the investigator like we did and just let him talk till he was done in the beginning instead of cutting him off and getting down to the lesson. If she had, we would have missed out on his testimony and even his desire for family members out of our area to receive our message and was then without asking giving us referrals!!! So amazing!
Heavenly father truly does prepare people for us to teach, ready and willing to receive our message, we just need to go out and find them! Almost everyone we have taught has been from the potentials sheets, only Amelia is a member referral. Even though they weren't from our own efforts per say, we still went out and found on our own!
Other than those miracles. it has been a busy week of packing for Sister George and running around getting things done all across our mission. I am doing fine here, learning many things and trying my best to try something new in our area to find those who have slipped through the cracks, or would not have been able to be found without me. I KNOW THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT ONLY MYSELF AND MY COMPANION CAN TOUCH, I HAVE SEEN THAT COME TRUE SO FAR AND KNOW IT WILL CONTINUE THROUGHOUT MY MISSION!
PS: Pony petting zoo photos! We took care of lots of pot holes from rabbits digging around the picnic tables. We don't want little kids at birthday parties getting hurt. We also raked up bark that fell from the trees and a few leaves to clean it up for the fall season. Other groups trimmed bushes and leveled dirt in a new horse arena for the petting zoo for walking ponies for the birthdays. No horses this week that needed to be groomed sadly, but it was still way fun. We even got to stay and feed some of the goats. One ram had two sets of horns!