Email address (preferred):
Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
California Long Beach Mission
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815
This week has been crazy weird and busy. My new companion is Sister Hinckley, and she is from Alberta Canada.
We moved into a brand new apartment, had to purchase an entire apartment's worth of supplies, and that alone took up our first day. After we had good parts of the day spent at the mission home and/or office, working with President and Sister Tew working out the details of our new assignment. Looks like it will last a couple transfers then we will go back to normal.
We will work with the missionaries in the ENTIRE MISSION and their investigators in 1-2 lessons to help ALL investigators find at least 1 name to take to the temple within the first month of baptism. The goal is after a lesson or two the missionaries in that area will know enough to be able to take over all other family history lessons and every missionary in this mission will know how to do family history. The hope is to have greater retention in this mission and change the culture of being a recent convert in this church since most older members seem to avoid if not hate family history without even giving it a try, and they aren't attending the temple like they should. (With exception to the Cambodian ward, they always are on top of things and love attending!) There is a great need for the hastening of the work here, so this should help a bunch.
Lately we have seen some good improvement in our ward members due to a new change in the ward. Our entire ward was split into committees according to their interests and talents: 1. Proclaim the gospel; 2. Temple and family history; and 3. Perfect the saints/care for the poor and needy (service). We saw that when the ward members were put into those committees, they seemed to care more for the work they discuss, and were much more willing to participate in the work they are over, more so than 1 or 2 people being assigned to a calling. They then support those in the specific callings and more things happen in the ward like it should. We hold those meetings every 5th Sunday and its been fun so far. Took a month for everyone to get used to, but since the whole ward is doing this, not just a few, almost everyone feels like they can help out instead of making excuses. Bishop is now more interested in the work our companionship is doing in now that he got assigned to the family history committee, so that is wonderful. Before it was less than what it is now, so improvement is always good! Lots of great things are happening in this ward!
No service this week due to trainings we gave to the whole mission and preparations we took to get it done where Sister Tew liked it and President put his stamp on it (sort of speak). Sounds like we will do MANY short training's possibly in the future as we go along and refine how we do things. I have never used up so many miles before, it's worse than STL mile status! Thank goodness we have to put on the paper log how many were for family history that will be deducted from our normal amount. Elders in Long beach who had our car before HOGGED tons of miles already, so this should get interesting. Our apartment is 1 mile out of our area, right next to the highway (which is great for travel around the mission) and is a nice and safe complex. Not as noisy as my last one oddly enough, too. We ended up splitting my last area, and now we are over 1/3... which is about 1/7 the size of the ward... UBER TINY.... Even more challenging is it is a nicer area with barely any investigators, potentials, less actives, or even members. I hope missionaries start using us soon, since we are running out of streets to tract in the meantime.
The first couple days were real hard adjusting, especially since I am sort of follow up training as well, so it's always hard for adjustments from one's first area and companionship. Sister Hinckley had a hard time getting used to how we had to drop every plan we had to get things done for our apartment with Elder and Sister Grossnickle, lots of travel time, and changing plan at a moment's notice if necessary. It was hard getting used to STL, or even YSA missionary lifestyle of constant re-planing, planning travel time, or dropping plans when something came up that we have to do. We are learning to get along, but it's been a bit of a rough go at the start. I hope it will get better as we get going the rest of this transfer, which is the 7 week transfer due to MTC time changes)
Good news is that Aisha will get baptized and even though I am not teaching her any more, and we will be able to come! They weren't able to find names of those involved on her record for the supposed baptism, so she was cleared for baptism in 2 weeks!
Other than that, we picked up a few new investigators. Most of them we had to pass off, but we hope that we can work with Michael, Gina, and Reynold still!