Email address (preferred):
Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
California Long Beach Mission
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815
Somehow I managed to stay in Buena Park and Sister Hinckley is going to YSA in Whittier and family ward in Santa Gurtrudes. (She is the ultimate YSA magnet so this will be great for her.)
My new companion will be Sister Montague, and we will be the Family History sisters for the entire mission still. That was a complete surprise, especially since Sister Hinckley and I will both be doing trainings for family history specialized training in a few weeks for the whole mission all at once.
I will miss her a lot. We finally got along completely and understand one another, and now we get transferred. Reminds me of Nanny McFee and how when you learned as much as you can and get along, you now don't need to be with one another. I know I need to be with Sister Montague for family history, and Sister Hinckley for YSA, so it will be OK. We got along by overcoming obstacles in our way and helping one another get over them.
Goes to show there should be troubles in any relationship in life, because then we can grow closer to one another, whether that is friendships, family, or marriages. Without trials, we do not grow.
Elders Bruce E. Ghent and Robert C. Gay came and spoke to us. We had a mission conference this last week where for the first time ever that I have seen in my time in the mission, EVERYONE came to the single meeting to see two general authorities from the Quorum of the Seventy. Elders Bruce E. Ghent and Robert C. Gay came and spoke to us. Elder Gay told us a story I would like to share. (The people's names may or may not have been changed.)
This is a true story of Brother James. He was born in Idaho to a family who where members of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. At age 15 he left home and joined the Hell's Angels group, and for 20 years he traveled with them. One day he woke up in a motel in New York not knowing how or why he was there and then started to rethink his direction in life. He decided to then travel to California to a safe house that the Hell's Angels owned. That home was guarded by two very well trained Doberman pincer dogs that were chained up and had just long enough chain to stop any intruder coming in and intimidate just about anyone who got close enough to the fence. While there, he was out the porch one day when two elder missionaries came past. He thought it would be interesting to watch and see what happens when the young men tried to possibly come in to talk to him and proceeded to try to come up to the gate. The elders came to the gate and immediately the dogs pounced onto the fence and the elders then went on their way. A few moments latter they stopped, talked among each other; and turned back to the gate once again. This time the dogs both got down, walked over to their patch of grass, and laid down almost as if sleeping. One elder came to Brother James and told him they felt prompted to ask him if he knew someone. The someone was none other than his father, and he asked how he knew that man. The elder then said that he was brother Jame's brother he never met because he left home before he was born. He then said something to this effect, "Is this not the hand of God in this work to bring a man from New York, to California, so that he can meet his brother he never met?"
Just recently brother James has gone through the temple for himself and is fully active to this day!
I know that God sees the divine potential that each of us has, and knows us each on a personal and loving level. He knows all the things in this life we can come up and accomplish, in this case he needed Brother James to realize his divine potential as a son of God and all the blessings he could have. He needed to have him see that the life he was living kept him from the infinite possibilities and blessings he had waiting for him. We all deserve more than what the world gives, and we deserve all of God's blessings as we follow his commandments. May we all be well to remember that change can bring us to higher ground if we allow that to happen with God's help and Christ's example. God loves us and never ceases to want the best for us. (Conveniently that was the theme of the stake conference was about, so I tied it into this neat story we were told.)
Have faith and remember, God is at the head of all we do as missionaries.
Miracle of the week:
We were able to meet lots of people everywhere with members and on our own. It seemed this week we found more when we were JUST about to leave and had little time, but then people wanted us to come back and talk more, AND they showed up to their return appointments (most of them anyways).
My favorite story is of Sister Tucker and how I felt prompted to visit even though it was after dinner, and she said not to visit since her family is always doing things together (I love that her family does so much together, many families I meet have never done that even a single night a week regularly). The rest of her family aren't members and aren't interested, but we caught her right as her husband was heading out to pick up some things. She let us in for a few minutes and we only shared a brief scripture when they came back, and we ended up staying for a while longer getting to know everyone else in the family. We even got a book that her husband wrote, and he signed it for us. We got to talking, and he was quite interested in what we do as missionaries and offered to have us as a guest for his podcast called 91 reasons (which is named after the 91 freeway that is close by that he used to take 2 hours back and forth every day for work at Knott's. Very famous road for taking FOREVER to get anywhere on..... almost as bad as the roads so people suffer through it to get around long distances). We have to talk with our mission president if we can do that, but it is neat he is interested in doing that! He wants us to talk about what we do, what life is like, and things like that. Either way I hope to continue to see them; I love that family so much! Opportunities to teach and share come in the most unexpected places and ways!