Tuesday, October 27, 2015

24 - Judging chili and a costume contest!

Email address (preferred):

 Mission address:
 Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
 California Long Beach Mission
 6500 E Atherton St.
 Long Beach, CA 90815

Things are going along. I got real sick this week. I'm doing better, mostly a seasonal cold and migraine combo Tuesday through Sunday. I spent most of my day either sleeping or when I did feel good, doing a visit or two teaching or doing service at Suzan's garden (the project was named this week, they hope to clear out the dead willow trees and in its place put in milk weed so monarch butterflies use the area as a wintering ground again (they used to come, but they don't any more and end up dying due to some bad weather years freezing them, illness/parasites, loss of milkweed they winter on, and unknown reasons....). It's amazing how much progress we have made. It looked like a windy patch of vines, weeds, dead trees and branches, odd articles of personal items and clothing thrown in, and decay. So many trees that four years ago when they first put in the majority of grasses and pretty garden arrangements have died off or are struggling to find any light beyond the suffocating canopy of passion vine and caster bean trees. Already they have perked up a bit after the work. It's so nice looking now, just to get rid of the rest of the pesky plants, then we can fill in things after. Half done already with things out! I did miss some hours of work we were assigned to due to illness too, but that's OK, there are lots of missionaries here who have been excited to get a chance to do it. We get priority since it's our area and everyone else has more service opportunities in their own areas VS ours.

We saw Sister Cathey, Austin, and her grandmother. She is getting along with her grandmother for the most part. We are hoping to do a half hour service at least once a week to sing to her grandmother so she can focus on work at home and have a breather from watching her like a hawk. I hope it works out! We watched a Mormon message on service called LIFT, it really helper her since she has the same feeling as many of the people who stepped up to the plate to help someone who isn't able to take care of themselves with mobility and other things. We always try to leave them all with a smile no matter what!

We have another investigator! We finally saw Wendi, the daughter of that very kind gentleman who gave us a neat wooden pen. We found out he is almost completely blind and deaf. Despite that she still works in his wood shop making things. It scares Wendi, and I would too if my family member was in that shape working with tools let alone power tools at that. She told us she isn't looking to convert, but her brother (I think) is Mormon, and she has a very basic knowledge of things. She is going through a rough time with her divorced husband and trying to stay secret from him and especially her boys from him. She definitely needed our message of the atonement and comfort of Christ. She accepted the book of Mormon we read from with her and said to come back again, but not to be sad if she doesn't convert. Quite a miracle find since I stopped for awhile in front of her home to take a brief break and rest my eyes that were hurting from some bright lights, and when we were about to go to the person we planned to see, we got to meet her. Heavenly father will ALWAYS put people in our paths if we continue in faith and just be obedient. Sometimes we come back empty handed (which here seems almost always), but to Heavenly Father, it's his way to see if he can trust us another time with someone precious to teach.

We had the yearly trunk or treat and chili cook-off! Us missionaries were made judges (and almost everyone had to wear an awful orange hat with judge written on it. I lucked out since they ran out of hats). I was last to make sure I wouldn't spread what had this week. Lots of hot and sadly bland ones. The best we all agreed were the sweet ones (hot chili lovers liked the extra hot version more). In the end, it was all good. I was able to wear my sari (I think its spelled) from little India, minus the pants which I substituted with a red skirt. It was so close to what we wear as missionaries, only longer shirt with lots of patterns of flowers and super long scarf that I got away with it. (other Elders dragged out their super scary ugly ties... boy there are some winners there). It was fun!

Us missionaries decorated our trunk with a spider web that a member out of pity gave us and toilet paper to mummify our car with (since we don't have any funds to splurge on decorations) and gave out pass along cards after we quickly ran out of candy... after a short time kids stopped coming to our trunk for seconds on candy after they saw we only gave our cards. (I knew there were kids coming back for more candy, maybe I should do that when I go home for anyone who double dips homes). We also judged the trunks and costumes. Its been a while since I saw more store-bought costumes than homemade in a long while. Utah is definitely the land of homemade costumes, especially at conventions. The day kids made Hansel and Gretel and won best home made outfits, Peter Pan family made the best family outfit (which there were so many Star Wars groups it made it super hard to see who belonged to who so they sadly were sort of disqualified in most missionaries minds, their were some super good ones though). And scary went to a werewolf prom girl, and mine and everyone else's favorite was a pretty accurate minion from Despicable Me that some little kid was struggling to get around in since it was so dark near the end. He was so happy! He got best of show! So well made, creative, and life size.

One off my bucket list, be a judge for a costume contest. Who would have thought it would take for me to be on a mission? Oops forgot my camera, so next week stay tuned for photos of the fun I did have this week despite sickness.

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