Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
California Long Beach Mission
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815
Its November already and almost 6 months since I have been on a mission. It feels like a month or two, not 6; so crazy.
This week Sister Culala, Sister Amulanga (Westminster sister) and Sister Lampson (beach sister) wasn't feeling so good so we weren't able to work in our area much and I was sent to work in other areas to help out. Its been a week! we also did tryouts for the departure fireside that was yesterday and Got IN! that was so great since none of us had a solid enough investigator to get us in and Sister Culala and I were close to a few missionaries that were leaving. So many Polynesians were leaving this time so flower lei's where EVERYWHERE, LOTS OF THEM! so pretty!
I also got to help out at the American homes place detailing the kitchen and pantry. The pantry was the most fun since it was boxing and sorting (and on occasion wiping off spilled soaps and stuff, they get all the damaged goods that stores can't use and give them to the homeless) They loved the organization system I made for them, lots of boxes with what's in it written on the sides so its easy to find what you need! They employ and help house homeless and low income families and individuals, only thing is that they have to work towards getting themselves out of poverty with classes so they don't abuse the opportunities they give! We also helped prep the oven and grill for thanksgiving, I never knew how to deep clean an industrial oven/stove so this was both neat and intimidating. After 4 hours though we were ready to be done and get to missionary work.
We helped out at Shipley's again, more coyote bush trimming, this time we were by the pond and clearing a view so people can bird watch there. We also found a perfectly preserved bird's nest from who knows how many years ago. We gave it to the center and they have it on display now. They said kids on school trips LOVE seeing them.
Secret Garden was still closed while they are putting down and letting the path cure so people can use it. It's some kind of recycled natural soil product. Looks good though, a lot like sand. No Suzan's garden either; they had us go to Bolsa Chica wetlands. Sadly I forgot my camera, but we pulled out with a couple dozen other school volunteers Russian weeds. I don't know exactly what it is called, but I know it's an invasive Russian plant that is thorny, is very prattle when pulled on, so it's hard to eradicate out of there. I did get a few shells though.
All our appointments this week cancelled so it was a slow week. Thankfully that meant we could visit a few members and get Sister Culala home to rest sooner when she wasn't feeling so great. It all worked out in the end!
One neat thing I did get to do was go through TONS of old ensigns from the early 80's to present and look through the articles. I kept quite a few because I loved them so much. Lots of great ones for scripture study and resources, history graphs to help me get dates, places and events correct, ones on family (which also helps with council on how to get along with a missionary companion), the Savior's life, ones to read when I am having trouble or feeling down, and powerful talks to help me grow spiritually.
The historical ones on the Bible really helped grow my testimony. The more I read about the teachings of early Christian leaders just after the great apostasy started, the more it gives me a firm belief that this IS the exact same church Christ founded, and the beginnings of Catholicism and on to other churches. So many Christians in general I wish knew this, if they did, they would realize how corrupted things have slowly become over time. Thankfully, some truths still exist, but it's far and few between now days. This last Sunday I saw a church at one of the libraries nearby that rents on Sunday the auditorium. I won't name it, but it was so sad to see them set it up like a movie premiere with a photo wall, red carpet, and drinks sold at the door.
I can see now more clearly why they say that studies show that the more someone is learned of their faith outside of the LDS church, the less they believe in it and end up turning away. On the other hand, the more learned anyone in our faith, the more strongly they believe in it.
Halloween was spent deep cleaning the apartment. For me I attacked the bathroom. Now it's all clean. FINALLY, white and sparkly, mold completely gone, calcium deposits are gone, too (that was the toughest to get rid of). I found I really like hydrogen peroxide containing products. They do the work for me so I don't have to work so hard and feel tired. The training afterwards was on OBIDIENCE, much needed in our zone, nothing serious or bad, but the few tiny small things add up, and we have a lot of new missionaries that are learning bad habits that we need to stop right away. Unauthorized mini exchanges and phone calls to other missionaries outside their district, and a little on music. I had some part in a couple, but mostly because I didn't know about them either, that and if my companion is guilty, I am automatically guilty. Next transfer I will be happy to not let those happen ever again, I for one wasn't happy about decisions made without my knowing.
Transfers are here, and they are closing our area. There are many reasons why, but mostly there just isn't enough work here and God needs us elsewhere. I will be going to Buena park! I will be with the STL's (they are over Cyprus and Cerritos this transfer). It will be so odd to be with the STL's and forever exchanges, but it will be so cool to be in Cyprus and visit on occasion Cerritos again, I miss that zone so much! I will miss some members and Johnny and Linda our investigator and internigator. I honestly didn't have enough time to get to know many people, and many didn't care that much to get to know me anyways, with exception to a few who loved us so much and obviously I will miss them a bunch. The cars really helped with Sister Culala with shipping her things home since the Filipino shipping center was outside our mission, just barely. They are taking her to Whittier in the Pickering ward. I will miss the Days as well, they were the greatest missionary family ever, and I was so happy to spend some time with them while I wasn't feeling good last week, sad for that reason, but they were so neat. Brother Zeragoza, our actively less active and his funny neat police stories and always wanting to feed us missionaries (he really loves to do that to any missionaries). He loves them all, but no members, so the ward relies on us with them a lot. I hope he goes back some day with missionaries after us. I can tell he wants to, it is just in the right time I suppose.