Email address (preferred):
Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
California Long Beach Mission
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815
This week we moved into the Sea point ward and I have to say, it was the most clean elders apartment I have ever seen my whole mission. It was refreshing. Did have to tidy up a bit, but I was more than thrilled to do that instead of intensive cleanup that I usually have to deal with. In fact it was so clean that the area book was almost empty. So we have our work cut out for us. This is the first time sisters have been in the ward since anyone can imagine. not for safety reasons, but just because I suppose. It's also is the richest ward in the mission, and almost 3/4 of our area's are completely gated. Thankfully the members are super missionary oriented and help us out whenever possible. That is the best ward mindset's I have encountered my entire mission.
We also have some great views of the ocean and our area even has the world's surfing competition this week... and no parking for us for this whole week along with it. We have quite the interesting sandbox of tools and challenges to work with in this area. Every now and again we meet a member down by the beach, numbers area's or members from around the world, so its a nice thing to talk for a little while; then move on to regular rejections. Most people are nice here, especially when rejecting offers for service and to hear about the free blessings God has for them and their family.
Since the elders didn't leave us hardly any work, we have been trying to figure things out ourselves. In fact, on transfers, we spent a good part of the day trying to find where we live on the map and getting a car and learn who was the bishop so we could learn about the ward. This Sunday we got some great direction thankfully, but before that it was a bit discouraging. Almost everyone is on vacation in the places where we can go, and the gated areas are difficult to contact the people even in just our ward. I now can see why almost no investigators are in the gated areas. 3/4 of our area (ward), only members can help out there, and that is why it is so important for members to help with the work. We did get a big warm welcome from the sisters in the ward. That was neat. I think I will like this ward, but we will have to figure out on our own how to find people to teach outside of the members..... wish it wasn't necessary, but we don't have anyone really good to teach. We had to drop the only investigators we have since they were only there for bashing and no progress was made. Too bad.
Miracle of the week: I met a relative! Lee is less active and has Clark relatives in Farmington, Utah. I met him early on in my mission at one of the last departure firesides, and we were at his doorstep asking for another member at the back of his home, but didn't know about that fact. They let us in and gave us a tour of the house he built. 3 floors with a kids room loft, custom wood almost everywhere, spiral staircase, and he even made a small seller/basement, a rarity in California. I found out that is due to the water table or earthquake danger... or just how hard it is to dig around here. He even made a curved hidden closet beneath the spiral staircase that popped out and open when you press a button. (I just thought it was neat so i thought I would share.) We talked about family a lot and even some family history. I hope we can see him again and get him back to church. Just last week his sister next door passed away and his niece is also less active, so we hope that we can help out and visit her as well. His wife at church and other relatives in the area said I may just be sent to help their family since I am family in a way. God certainly works in mysterious ways.
I am followup training Sister Painchaud so it's been interesting. We are getting along for the most part, but every now and again I have to be the "bad guy" and let her know that we must follow the rules and what they are. That part is NEVER fun with follow up training, ESPECIALLY with white washing.... I was blessed with both. Sometimes I think follow up training is the hardest thing on the planet, because trainers teach them all they know, then I have to go in and correct, tune up, and point out other ways of doing things that the other didn't do. We shall see how this transfer goes.