Monday, May 2, 2016
51 - One year older and wiser too~
Email address (preferred):
Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
California Long Beach Mission
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815
I certainly learned that this past couple months when I sacrificed not buying something, I was rewarded with lower costing if not free better items than the one I wanted. I have a testimony of waiting for something better rather than yielding to temptations of great deals. I have had a past with spending on great deals, I never go into debt, but I then feel regret when I spent it and know I should have saved up money a little wiser than I did. On my mission I have been trying to do without and getting into a habit of not spending and god has blessed me so much as a result. I want to be a saver, a go without today, receive rewards later kind of person; just like people a couple generations ago did.
A mormon message called Becoming a provident Provider (link: https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2010-03-06-becoming-provident-providers?lang=eng ) made me cry inside one day about one of the apostles wanting to buy a dress for his wife, but then she put it back and did without because she knew the value of waiting. I felt guilty living in a habit of constant yielding to spending in the past and wanted that to be one of the big life impacting changes that I make while on my mission. Here I get a fresh slate and ways to try things new again with few old things to remind me of my old self. A huge blessing for me in this case.
I knew I would be trying to do without and letting go of things so I can live a simpler life with less so I can provide for my future family in order to change, which is not easy, but in the eternal sense well worth it. I think this last transfer I am 75-90% happy with the way I have gotten into spending and have learned to let go of things I got attached too. Helping out Sister Matsen and Sister Frosty definitely helped me in doing that, because they showed me their strength with letting things go, and I am honored with their examples. Letting go is never easy, but it is possible, and what better way with being a missionary. We teach about the atonement of Christ and its healing power for spiritual matters or loss of loved ones, why not the healing power of letting go of physical things as well one becomes attached to. This couple transfers our mission has emphasized change, and this last transfer I decided to make that a change as well as other things in my interactions with others and my missionary service.
I won't be perfect when I get home, and I might relapse a little and get somethings being as I went without it for 1 1/2 years, but I want to be a saver. Almost every stake president I asked what is one of their deepest regret in life, they all replied, "I wish I saved and invested more when I was your age, then I would have more means to give my family the best chance to have a future more free from worries of layoffs and losing one's home every time the economy crashes," or something to that effect. So far, I have been wiser on spending money on food each month and I got it down a lot and tried to reserve some if an emergency happens and our fridge go out, or who knows what. So far so good. I will let you know how I do as the months go by, 6 more to go.
The miracle of this week is:
1. We had met the manager of the Buena Park manor during an outdoor lesson we had with a family to give themselves as a referral (since they are a former investigator) and two girls down the road that they worried about since the member who was in the trailer park moved and wasn't meeting them for bible studies any more. We also had Sister Nau with us who knew them as well, and we got to meet them which was wonderful. It was also great because the family we were teaching was OK with it all and wants to learn more. Sadly we had to pass them off to the Spanish elders since their parents are Spanish, but it was still real neat!
2. We passed off Joanne to YSA elders, but since she let us in (when her family was still their and then subsequently left) we had to stay for the pass off lesson. It was so great, and she opened up to everyone and loved learning with the elders, so we have no worries about her. She was so impressed how we have a seminary program free to anyone (for the most part) to learn more about scriptures and bettering one's self (like pre-mission class and marriage/temple class). She also loved how we genuinely care about teaching her and want to see her succeed rather than scare tactics that she got a few days prior from some other church that shook her up in her faith. (Not bashing against other churches, just quoting her.) So many other things that made her say "wow" to each new thing we shared. It made me grateful for the things I know. It is such a blessing and a comfort.
3. We met a lady who just got home and was transporting her dog named Torro, who had cancer and who had few days left in his good long life. She was so upset and loved that dog as it were a member of her family and took good care of him. She wanted desperately to know where animals go after they die. I always wanted to know that myself since my beloved cat Oliver passed on and while we may not know everything, I do know they go to a heaven of sorts, and we will see animals up there. That within itself, while vague, was what she needed to find comfort that day of bad news and she even wants to meet with us again to talk. Just her other dog next time, but she wants to learn more of what we believe. So amazing how my background of being in a veterinary clinic came in handy and was able to testify of how we have souls and so do animals and the plan of salvation.
4. We had tony and Catherine come to church, and even Malaysia, Necie, and Zahee came as well. Even more of a blessing was that this fast Sunday and testimony meeting was the best I have ever heard (especially as a missionary you worry about what others say on occasion). A young man named Antwon came from Florida and was impressed by our ward, and was an answer to our prayer with our family since they are African American (which is a big deal seeing someone who is at church of your same background/race/hometown/ect. For me seeing someone from Utah is a big deal, so I can relate). So many great testimonies including his own made almost everyone sniffle and cry at some point of the meeting. Even during the prayer, a sign of feeling the spirit to many people (me including, proud of that, not ashamed). They couldn't stay for the whole 3 hours, but I hope they come again next week. Same with Catherine and Tony, they had to go because of his exam and study. FINALLY people at church. Took a transfer, but all our hard work is finally starting to pay off.
We got to try Korean food at the Honey Pig dinner this last week. Smaller portions than most places (which is OK when you are trying to lose some weight from big member dinners) and it was either fermented/salty or hot and spicy. All in all it was pretty good. Not my favorite, but I could do it again. It was Korean BBQ style on a WOK style pan on top around a round table. It felt weird seeing food cook on a wok top looking cooker, but neat. I can now say I had Kimchi (fermented cabbage) not that bad, just a little odd. Whatever leftovers they turned into fried rice (hot of course) and it was mostly kimchi and some little amount of bean sprouts that was left over as well (we liked those more.) Met my goal of trying one more ethnic food this transfer, last one was a flop...