August 3, 2015


Newport Hills


Sister Sarah Baker

Settling in to missionary life...

This week has just gone by in a blur. I can't believe how time flies out
here. One of my favorite parts of this week was going on an exchange
with Sis. Phinney, who was my MTC companion. It was nice to catch up
with her, but I'm really starting to get to know some of the other
missionaries and a lot more of the members here. It's really great to
walk into church and actually recognize some of the people! I especially
love meeting members who immediately let us know that they want to help
us. Last Monday we had a small miracle when a YSA named Megan invited
us and invited one of our investigators, Palmer, to dinner. Megan joined
the church a year or two ago and it was so powerful to have her add her
own testimony to ours during our lesson because she and Palmer had a
lot in common. We were just so thankful to see someone from the ward
make a real connection with Palmer.
I don't really have a whole lot
to say this week. I'm just "pushing toward the mark" as I read in
Philippians 3 this week. Just moving forward with faith. But I did learn
something pretty important on Friday. We had been asking all week to
have two baptisms because we had set it as a goal for July and we had
prayed about it and felt right. But Friday was the last day of July and
we still didn't have anyone. So that morning I know I kind of felt like
giving up. But then during companion study we studied "What is possible
to God?" and I realized. God could do it. Either He has all power or
not, and He does. He could do it. The only thing limiting this miracle
was my faith. So together we wrote down every tiny negative thought or
doubt that we had and we took the paper, reviewed them, and then we
burned it in the kitchen sink. I know it sounds weird, but I could feel
the Spirit testifying so strongly as I watched our doubts disappear that
God absolutely could give us two baptisms in 24 hours. And then the
smoke detectors went off. :D But once we got them to stop screaming at
us, there was no doubt left in my mind. I knew it was in God's hands. So
we prayed and headed out for the day. Through the day, there were lots
of opportunities to get distracted, but as I focused on my faith I felt
that confirmation again and again. Then... nothing happened. We got back
to the apartment that night a little confused. Why hadn't anything
happened? Where were the miracles? I still knew God could have done it
if He had wanted, but I was confused as to why He didn't when it had
felt so right. And then the next morning we studied, and we realized
that it was an experiment of our faith. God hadn't wanted two baptisms
that day, He wanted to know what we would do and how much faith we would
have if He asked for that. It brought me so much peace and joy to know
that had He wanted it, I had had enough faith to try.
So yeah, it's
been a really great week. I finally feel like I know what I'm doing and I
know how to be a missionary. I've taught every lesson as of yesterday!
Of course I know I have a lot more to learn, and I probably won't ever
know everything about missionary work. I don't expect to be perfect. But
I do expect to try. And I'm starting to feel like I'm swimming instead
of fighting to stay afloat. I'm so grateful for the lessons He teaches
me every day. Miracles are real!
A few fun stories behind the pictures this week:
We had a window this week and we were just walking around a neighborhood, wondering where God wanted us to be, and Sis. Baker saw a butterfly. She got all excited and told me that one of her companions used to say that God gave us signs and that her sign was a butterfly so every time she saw one she knew she was in the right place. Well Sis. Baker thought it was weird but went with it and picked giraffes. When she said that I cracked up because what the heck?! Where are you going to see a giraffe in California??! But she asked, "Haven't you ever seen a giraffe decoration in someone's yard?" And I just laughed harder. So then we were walking and praying and about ten minutes later we passed this light pole. As we passed it, I looked down. And there, on the sidewalk, was a giraffe. A squeaky child's toy that someone had forgotten. But it was seriously a giraffe. We couldn't decide whether to laugh or to jump for joy. God really does have a sense of humor sometimes. We named the giraffe Victor and he sits on the dashboard of our car now. :D

I went on exchanges with both Sis. Phinney and Sis. Shober this week, both of which were super fun. Sis. Phinney and I accidentally matched with white shirts and navy skirts, and decided we didn't care so we didn't change. Sis. Shober has this goal to see a license plate from every state while on her mission and is about half way through... but this week we spotted Hawaii!!! It was pretty exciting :)

One of our friends in the Young Single Adult (YSA) ward, Jackie, had a birthday this week so we went out for frozen yogurt with her. The place was called Monster and it was super fun. Weirdest thing I ate this week? Fruity pebbles soft serve. It legitimately tasted like fruity pebbles.

I bleached some highlights for Sis. Baker this week and of course we took a selfie during what I call the "aluminum monster" stage :)

I think that's it for this week. I love y'all! :)
Sister Heather Bambas
California Irvine Mission
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