Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
California Long Beach Mission
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815
This week we spent our days visiting the remainder of the people on our ward list. Met more Do Not Contacts than usual. It's sad when that happens, but we all have free agency, and that matters more in life. We also had exchanges and due to the mas exodus of sisters in the mission (illness, homesickness, and things out of their control). I was put with Sister Poulson (a new missionary) and we sort of did a reversal exchange. We had lots of fun together that day and met a few more elderly members who are in recovery and would love us to come by and teach them until they are able to go to church themselves. I love hearing stories from their youth and how life was back them vs. now and how they were able to overcome challenges with Christ in their life, even how missionary work was back then.
We had a fun outing with Stella at a Japanese restaurant, very authentic, then we taught a lesson on Temples, and she said that years ago she worked with her LDS sister on some family history. She now understands why she was so persistent on learning about her relatives and gathering photos and stories, then she turned it into a video for the whole family to enjoy. She was thrilled she was apart of that whole process and looks forward to our visit hopefully soon at the temple visitors center to learn more and be around the LA Temple grounds.
Things are going well with Ken, He loves soaking up all the things we teach him and informing us on the little discoveries he finds each day.
We had a lesson with Titiana and Sister Goode (a friend of hers for many years) and talked about choices we all make in life and how having a patriarchal blessing helps us along our path of life with guidance and is an invaluable insight of ourselves and our potential that God sees in each of us as we live righteously and do all we can to help those things happen and help others around us. She loved Church and was presented to the relief society sisters for graduating young women's with the other youth. She also is excited to try going to the YSA ward with Lacey next week and possibly the fun activities and classes at institute they have for youth her age.
Miracle of the week was an opportunity to do service with the Harwards. They had to cancel an appointment due to some work they were doing on the house, and we both felt prompted to ask if they needed our help. They had started work on their kitchen and dinning room taking off... yes you guessed it.... dreaded 20+ year old WALL PAPER! They needed to paint the walls and have it ready for some carpet cleaning in 4 days, and they needed it before they moved the furniture into that same room. They were deeply discouraged from learning the usual ways you can get it off for newer paper is useless for the ancient wall covering, and they barely made a dent in the work to be done the day before. We came over and started working at one wall they had tried to work through the other day and found that by soaking it relentlessly with very hot water would get bigger pieces then the shreds they were getting before. It worked out well since we wanted to get to know them more and do service since they were going through so much as it was; and this time we could. We shared experiences about the gospel, how the youth trip to the tabernacle was for the youth, and more. It was almost like 1 big lesson for the time we did the service with them. They were almost done by the time we had to leave and were happy beyond words for our help. They said they could go to sleep that night without worry of not getting this project done in time and were almost in tears (Sister Harward was anyways). After this experience, I'm not so scared of wall paper removal (that and I did a harder job at my own house in the past). More hands make the work light and fun!
Goes to show that sometimes physically working with the less active members builds trust, especially when they need a helping hand. Not only that but the ward as a whole has lots of trust in us, it has been amazing. They have offered us to meet their friends, have us over for dinner (more days than we have available), and tell us all we need to know about people we need more information on to visit so we can share something to cheer them up or help them through a tough time in their life. Our hard work is starting to pay off now!