Email address (preferred):
Sister Rachael Geniel Clark
California Long Beach Mission
6500 E Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815
This week we have been Busy going around the heights area to find members (mostly people who moved out or do not contacts... at least they were nice to us) and getting lost in the dark. I saw my first coyote, they run fast... Thankfully they only appear at night usually, so we are just fine in our car, driving from place to place. We also saw LOTS of squirrels and a rabbit crossing the road. I have yet to see deer...but I think I am just fine not seeing that in my path. No animals harmed by us while driving, that would be a sad day. We have discovered "the great and spacious building" near the top of our area while getting lost one time. We also found many trail heads as well, and we just stopped and knocked doors in those areas since we figured no one has ever contacted them, and someone has to share the gospel with them or cheer them up, or do service for them. They gave us looks that confirmed our theory that no one ever visits them. At least they also were nice and some even took a picture of Christ.
Not many lessons sadly. Everyone is on vacation, business trip, or just not home this week... or sick. At least there is a new week to try new things, though.
Sister Dimmick's birthday was this week, and we celebrated with the fun balloons and party hats her parents sent her, and I surprised her with a cake made from whipped cream and Nutella as filler and frosting and some European waffle like cookies for the "cake". Then I stuck a candle on and sang her a song. Shortest party ever since we only get 1 hour for meals, but fun. We also played the popcorn popping song and bounced the balloons around during dinner for fun in true Singles Ward style... She loves that movie, so it was a funny inside joke. Then there was a ward relief society party making wooden Christmas tree decorations that we did with our investigators. They loved it! We did too.
Other than having way too much fun during dinner and lunch together baking and cooking food, we have done more knocking and contacting formers than before. At least we were able to set up future appointments for this upcoming week, that is always good. Not much else, but we talked to everyone, and that's what matters. We have noticed that everyone in our area has used their agency to the fullest extent this week, so that aside, we have done well despite our best efforts. A little discouraging, but that is OK.
I was asked to share a spiritual experience from my mission for the mission history files, so I thought I would share:
If there is one thing that helped me the most, it is realizing our purpose as a missionary. We aren't the ones that convert, and we aren't the ones that bring them to baptism. We are, however, the ones that testify of the Gospel and bring The Spirit into their homes so that he then can testify of the truths we share and help them towards God on a personal level. We are merely the vessels that God asks to bring the Gospel to others, open our mouths, and testify of Christ and how to return to our loving Heavenly Father.
I remember a time before my mission that helped me realize this concept. An acquaintance of mine once entered into a costume contest with a character little known to many. On stage, she had 45 seconds to sway the audience that her character was worth something. Unlike many others who said many words, or did dances, songs, or skits; she came on quietly and silently. Not a word was spoken, but what was said to the heart spoke stronger and truer then what anyone had said that day. Everyone was fixed on everything she did, and their were few dry eyes in the audience after she left the stage. she won the hearts of all present and the judges.
That day I learned well timed silence draws people's attention better than fancy words or songs, because The Spirit doesn't compete with noise.
We, too, bring a message to the "stage" of others, often little known to them if at all; and we have very little time to share it with them to show it matters everything to us and to them. The Holy Ghost is the most quiet payer on the stage, and if we let him in, he will touch the hearts of those we meet and some will be fixed on every part of the message we share. Giving everyone we meet the opportunity to feel The Spirit, often times for the first time ever in their life; will give them more than any words we could ever tell. God knows each of us and loves us dearly, and will use us to bring the things they need most into their life, if we let him in, too.
Just trying to do my best before the end, come what may, and love it!