Email address (preferred):
Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
California Long Beach Mission
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815
I had a temple day today which was fun, this time we went to the 5:30 session with Sister Pumell, she is a sweet lady from England who is single now after her husband passed away. She always bakes traditional English food, its so neat! I love talking with her about her childhood in England and what life was like during the war and things like that. The other sisters fell asleep the whole car ride over, and hour and more ride to LA, such bad traffic. We had just over 100 missionaries from 3 zones going all at once, so we filled over half the massive rooms. (Elders out numbered us 10 to 1.)
This week was interesting with so many emergency visits to the Whittier sisters for my STL companions, I just came along for support and because I had to. Lots of broken down cars after dark and sadly Sister Lindow still remained sick after 5 weeks out in the mission with only a weeks worth of feeling well, so she had to leave for home. Sister Foster will get a new companion, so I hope I don't get ET'ed. I love Sister Foster, but I love the ward and people and companions I have now so much. That and I am tired of packing up each transfer and moving.
Thanksgiving was very fun. We had dinner with a Filipino family in the ward who cooked us a big dinner. We had fun afterwards talking for a while about thankfulness and also Sister Vandevelde loved discussing about her future career hopefully which is early childhood prevention therapy (I think its called), and with how she loves working with people, especially kids and teaching. The sister we had dinner with has an autistic girl who they shared stories about. She loves singing and is very good at it too, possibly due to her autism being high functioning. She would pop in and out of dinner and would show us her artwork. I was impressed with her skills considering all things. Most of the night was spent with her. The rest was briefly with Sister Fox and her family, then weekly planning (so we wouldn't be out later bothering families during dinner or out with all the Black Friday madness). The biggest chunk of that day we had a specialized training that day (so we wouldn't be sad missing family, possibly wasting time at members houses, or eating 3 or more dinners that day.... or that's what I could figure at least). We saw the new Christmas video they put out about a savior is born and also went over how to better use our time with finding. Lately the missionaries in general have been using referrals and the area book almost exclusively making many people get upset when you see them and you find out you're not the first set of missionaries that stopped by... instead you were the 3rd or even 7th to visit and they aren't to keen to listen to us. So we have been focusing on finding the hard way, by your own efforts. I have been wanting to do this for a while but none of my companions would agree to do it and said that it was a waste of time when we had more likely names to go by.... NOW its acceptable if president says it. Funny how that works out.
We in one day followed President Tew's advice and found from scratch the whole day almost and found 3 people on one street, each leading us to the next by way of referrals. That was so neat and showed what happens when you plan well, follow the spirit, and ask for referrals even from non members. Two of them we had to pass on to other missionaries due to language and age, but that just means we will get more in the future some other day in return.
We helped Sister Brown move more of her house slowly into boxes then next door. She gave us some clothing that didn't fit her and she had lots of excess of so that was fun to go through. Most doesn't fit me or anyone, but it can fit some of our investigators though who are in some need of skirts or kids clothing possibly. We also did service at the park Anaheim Medical Center and listened to beautiful Christmas and piano music and colored with patients and talked. It was way more fun this time because most were out coloring and wanted to talk, other times there is more rowdy music playing on the radio that we can't control and many people aren't around to talk to. I wish we could go there with the piano player every week.
Debbie is Super Close to baptism, Next Saturday for sure. Her husband might come and her oldest daughter who really wanted to come got the day off! She is so excited and is especially excited to visit the temple visitor center again during December. We now got permission to go with them with a member now! SO EXCITING! Not to any events, but to the visitors center which is something! She said she didn't want to leave the temple grounds or the center. She can't wait for next year when she can go into the temple itself.
Tiffany is also progressing real well. Still afraid of water, but she is determined and despite her families daily persecution for her joining and feeding her false things about the church, she still is going strong, and now we don't even have to ask her to come to church or activities, she just says shes going, and to also see her friends from the ward! I love it when they do things without us asking, it makes our work so much easier and for them, a much stronger testimony and love of church and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Dortheos are going well, and we even saw them at church. They are slowly but surely coming back into activity and towards baptism for the wife. They are so nice, especially with all the things they have had to go through.
It's been a good week so far, and my companions and I have had a much better week after shaking off the tiredness, lack of energy to work, and sorrow after Ana's death. It hit my companions harder than it hit me, but still it wasn't fun losing one of our most promising investigators. Mario made sure to mention us in his speech at the funeral and after a brief visit to see how he was doing after giving him some space to mourn, he seems just a little more promising to letting us come back and teach him. I know no matter what, Ana's being taught on the other side and must be loving it!