Email address (preferred):
Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
California Long Beach Mission
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815
We have met quite a few people and a ton of new investigators for this week to teach and visit using A Savior is Born, it has been so neat! It never ceases to amaze me how a short 2 minute video changes the hearts of people we meet. Most of this week has been spent contacting on the streets and knocking doors.
We missed out on service due to moving. Our special downstairs neighbor finally made it too difficult to live on top of so we did ourselves both a service by moving just down the street. I have found that I'm not the greatest fan of moving an entire apartment.... Last couple times it was just my items into an already existing on. Our new one is almost exactly the same, only squeakier in different areas, better condition than the last, and brand new soft carpet. It also has us sharpening our parallel parking skills vs the other, which is the downside, but upside is we have peace and quiet finally. That last one is the best upside!
Debbie was feeling better this week so we sang some Christmas songs and other songs that my companions Sister Miller and Skelton like using for teaching in lessons. Her husband seemed more open and honest about changing and going to church one day hopefully soon, so that is super cool! I know that her example and baptism changed his heart and softened it. He even tries to teach his party buddies to come closer towards Christ in general, but got discouraged when they didn't want to like he did. He said to Debbie he is getting tired of the party life and wants to clean up, but needs time. He will come in his own time, and for now we just keep inviting.
Tiffany will be able to meet with us more often soon after her job lets her go for the season. She said it was stressful and it made her realize that her answer from God to which she should do (school or work full time) is to do education. She looks forward to going back to school, and it's amazing to see how our investigators' understanding and application of what we teach into their life and the blessings they experience because of it. We also got to teach David her brother last time with the A Savior is Born video. He looks forward to studying the scriptures with us and tentatively going to church and lessons.
Miracle of the week is when we were almost done with walking for the hour before dinner IN POURING RAIN getting soaked (because we didn't expect rain and wasn't prepared for it). We knocked on a door and Aarti and Diya her daughter invited us right in. We only said we were missionaries, and we were shocked that she just said come in, sit down at the table, and have a drink of water. It was almost as if they were expecting us! She is Hindu and said how she grew up in India where in her town they had many religions and was open to learning. She even recounted all she knew of Christ and it was amazing how she knew more about Christ than most Christians we meet! She even said she prays to Jesus when her prayers to the many 3,000 plus gods they have doesn't work. When she moved to america for her nursing and doctorate degree, she asked her mom what was the god of America was, her mother told her Jesus. She she prays to him, mostly. She told us how she yearns to learn more of any religion and that our badges with the church of Jesus Christ caught her eye. I can't wait to come back and teach her, she is so nice! She reminds me of DP, so brilliantly smart and humble to learn. She even pointed to us a great potential just serve project, it may not happen due to it being through a service agency, but we will never know unless we try and work things out with them through just service.
We did our Christmas songs in choir on Sunday. O Come, O Come Emanuel was my favorite song we sang.
I also loved a story someone shared. I wish I could recount it as wonderfully as it was written, but here it is. Hopefully you can find the original somewhere out there in the wide internet.
This story is about an art collector who also shared it with his only family, his son. They would go and find, buy, and display only the finest and world famous art in their estate. War hit, and later, his son went to war causing his father to be worried about him each day. One day a telegram came, and left him with a broken and empty heart just before Christmas that year. He would be spending that and every Christmas after that alone. His son was shot after saving a fellow soldier on the way to a paramedic station. Latter, that soldier his son saved came to the man. He told of how brave and honorable his son was, doing all that he could to save others and constantly brought them to the paramedics. He also said how him and his father collected fine world famous art. He presented that man with a painting of his son. Strikingly accurate, but no where near world famous or notable. That man placed it prominently above the fireplace and spent his Christmas and many years after looking at his son's painting. It became more precious than any that he ever owned. When the man died, he held an auction as stated in his will, of all his artwork. Many collectors and museums came to bid on the prized collection. First up was the painting of the mans son. The auction fell silent, and even complaints arose in the crowd, to move on and stop wasting people's time with the painting. No one wanted it, until finally one neighbor said he would part with 10 dollars, for it was all he had for the painting, since he was a close friend to the family. Once, twice, and sold. The auctioneer then said that the action was all over. He explained that the will stated that the ENTIRE collection would be given to the winner of the painting of his son, because he held it higher than any other. Millions of dollars of art meant nothing more than that man's son.
Just like this man loves his son more than anything else, Heavenly Father loves his son, and those who choose him over anything else will gain everything. This Christmas season, choose Christ, and you will have happiness worth more than anything else material this world has to offer.