Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
California Long Beach Mission
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815
Things are going well this week. We are finding fairly good investigators almost every day here, such a difference from 1 hour south of here in Huntington Beach.
Debbie pushed back her baptism date to first Saturday in December, which is for the best with some family things going on, but she is still ever faithful about being baptized. She is also excited to go to institute and possibly getting a calling at some point teaching the children or youth about the gospel when she is in the church a little longer since she almost became a youth pastor years ago. I hope she does, she is very bright and spiritual, I love that about her, and she never gives up on her family or marriage no matter what bumps in the road come her way.
We haven't had many chances to go by our other investigators more than once due to illness or something coming up, but so many people we find are so excited to learn, or are at least very curious about what we believe. One who lives nearby loved the lesson we had with Rex, one of my companion's, Sister George's, recent converts who gave up literally everything after working towards becoming a priest in the Catholic seminary after 6 out of 7 years of schooling. He knew it was true and the seminary kept trying to stop him from getting lessons. The other day he told us his experience after teaching with the Elders one time and got into a bible bash on accident and said he knew everything he said was absolutely true and even what he learned from seminary years ago too, but he didn't feel good afterwards and like the Spirit was there. Its interesting to see how in true he is to the spirit to be able to tell that. After that he now knows why we don't bible bash. Its fun to see how new converts see things for the first time. He loves coming out with us to teach people with a catholic background. It was fun to have him there and our investigator was excited to hear what he has to say since he was the same religion as he is at one point.
Sadly many people give us the blanket statement that we believe what we grew up with and don't understand them or have no right to try and say things. It's real sad. If they truly understood the gospel of Christ they would know that we ALL have to be converted of our own free will. Just because we grew up in the church doesn't necessarily mean any one person will believe it or follow it by their actions. I had to at one point do what we ask of our investigators and pray and ask Heavenly Father if it is true and have a testimony of my own just as any convert needs to.
Sister fox is staying strong for the most part and is almost completely reactivated, it's so neat. Hopefully we can help her on the way back to the temple too!
Dianna, who is Sister Vandevelde's recent convert, is also on her way to the temple. While she can only do baptisms for now, she is still excited. Also she is getting married real soon so that's an exciting and stressful time for her too. I knew things will work out well for the both of them!
Sister Skelton and Vandevlede have had their hands full with many STL meetings, trainings, and having to do a training almost every week. Even singing for one of the 70 who is coming. We also did our first two exchanges, both I have been used as a driver for Sister Skelton and her companion. The first, we had to take our car in for a recall (Fords here seem to get recalled one or more times every transfer, it's annoying!) and had to take half a day off for just the car, then we had the other transfer at a big zone service project with the La Palma Days veteran parade. We at first were with the police helping barricade the street and making sure no one crosses it. Some one even ignored the sign, us, and a police officer and got chased down.
Half way though we switched and were on registration and helped organize people in lines and their spots according to their category. The left side of the road was VIP's and car floats, the right side was schools, bands, and kids groups. It was sort of like being at the top of the funnel, and at the end of the street, organizers would let them out on the parade route when it was time in coordination to the kids groups coming out across the street. Sadly, we couldn't watch the parade like the other missionaries since we were at the front, but we had to because I had to leave early to help out Sister Lindow in wittier since she got the flu real bad. It was interesting to see haul behind trailer floats instead of the fancy car underneath floats we have in Utah. One of the announcers there was from the Anaheim mission area and told us his daily missionary experiences. He loves missionaries and gives out Book of Mormons whenever and wherever possible which was cool. His daughter also lives near where I live back home so that was neat. It's a small world!
Its been a hectic busy week, but fun! We taught every night and found quite a few new potentials and investigators. Now just to appease our crazy below us neighbor who bangs on the ceiling night and day for just tip toeing around the apartment! (Sometimes when we are even just sitting for a while and she bangs for no reason, we joke that she is upset she hasn't heard about the gospel in awhile and wants to join in on our gospel study circle.) Whenever new Sisters come for exchanges, she makes a fuss and makes sure they know she exists!