Paul did not get baptized this week. But it's ok. He has now
officially gone 28 days without smoking!!!!! :D He still wants to be
baptized, but he felt a little rushed and wants to wait a couple weeks
to feel more ready.
We had a pretty cool experience with Paul this week, which explains one of the pictures. On Friday morning, Paul called us and said he didn't want to get baptized yet and wasn't ready. So we asked him if we could meet with him that night, and he agreed. Then we prayed. We prayed really, really hard. We just wanted to know what we should share with him that night, and we knew we needed the Spirit to be there, or it wouldn't do any good. We also wanted him to get baptized, but we knew that was in the Lord's timing. We got half the ward and our whole zone to start praying, and we even went to the temple to add his name to the prayer list. Then we took some paper and wrote down every doubt and fear we had (we had no earthly idea what we were doing, we have never been in an even slightly similar situation, and I've never had a baptism before, so really the whole week was a learning curve) and we burned our doubts! (that's the picture) We lit them on fire in a cookie sheet and decided to just have faith and do what we could. That was a hard day. We spent three hours at the food bank warehouse moving boxes and sorting them. But that night, despite my fears, we went into the lesson with Paul. We had talked about who we should bring to the lesson, but nothing felt right, so no one came with us. What we didn't know, was that Paul was terrified we were going to "bring out the army," and have a bunch of people there to pressure him! Poor Paul, we felt so bad. So it was definitely a prompting that we needed to go by ourselves. The lesson was spectacular. The Spirit was there full force and both Sister Bauer and I cried several times. We clarified so many things and resolved so many concerns and words just flowed out of us. We were powerfully bold and direct, and there was so much love in that room. We discovered worries we hadn't known about and answered questions and we bore testimony over and over. After two and a half hours, we felt so completely at peace knowing that we had done absolutely everything we could do, and Paul did have a testimony, and he did want to be baptized, and it was completely ok because he just needs a little time. That's ok. It's not our time. It's the Lord's. We got back in the car after that lesson and we just both sat there silently in awe. We felt so happy and at peace with everything. Sister Bauer was incredible. She was confident and loving and so earnest, and I am so thankful to be her companion. She is going to be (and already is!) one heck of a missionary.
Scott, however, did get baptized
Saturday!!! We are THRILLED. His family is going to be so happy. Well, I
suppose they aren't technically his family yet, but everyone knows that
(eventually) Justine and Scott will actually get married. Sister Baker came, and we showed a short video called Because of Him (https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2014-00-1420-because-of-him?lang=eng) that really reminded us of Scott, as he is an engineer and has a very particular way he likes to learn things. He's so fun to watch as he puts each little piece of the gospel together. He wants to know how everything fits and functions and works. It's really cool to talk to him. Sister Shober and Sister Bauer also did a musical number with me. We sang Come Follow Me, and Sister Shober played the piano. Sister Shober sang soprano, Sister Bauer sang alto, and I sang tenor an octave up. It was so awesome! I wish you could hear it. Sister Shober's really great at piano, so she even created a really cool accompaniment. (there's also a pic of us and Sister Baker with Scott)
The other pictures are a random street sign Sister Bauer liked, and the little bio that our bishop's wife keeps at the church on the bulletin board. :)
One exciting thing this week that (sadly) we did not get a picture of: we ran out of gas. Yeah, I'm serious. We literally ran out of gas on the side of the road. Lol. We had to call our zone leaders to come help us. Hahahaha we are totally "those sisters." We basically have no common sense. But hey! Turns out you can drive 35+ miles after the gas light turns on! :D Ok so there is actually a real explanation for <i>why</i> we ran out of gas. See, we put gas in on Saturday night, but the gauge didn't go up. So we thought the gas gauge was messed up. When it still didn't go up Sunday morning, we got the elders to look at it. We were pretty convinced we had gas, because we had a receipt that said we put in over 10 gallons. Well, the elders checked it out and said yeah your gauge is just screwy. Happens all the time. No worries you have gas. Ok, so then our next mistake: we trusted the elders because we thought obviously they know more about cars, right? So they told us to just keep track of our miles and go by our average mpg and never go below a quarter tank. So we did. Monday afternoon we ran out of gas. Turned out we did not actually have gas. We looked at the receipt, baffled by what had occurred, and then felt really stupid. The credit card number on the receipt wasn't ours. We had the receipt from the person before us. So somehow our card must have declined or something at the pump... we don't really know. But apparently we can't pump gas. So yeah. That was fun.
Oh! and we got to go see President Orgill this week. He had an interview with Sister Bauer to see how everything was going, and afterward he came and talked to me and it was so nice. He feels like an adopted dad. He just makes all the missionaries feel like they are awesome and incredible and everything is going to be just fine. We are never forgotten.
So Raul and Jenna update! Jenna is a less active member on our YSA (young single adult) ward list, and we just picked her name randomly off the list to go visit one day. Well, she wasn't home, so we left a note and headed out. But on the sidewalk as we left, we met her boyfriend Raul who was on his way home. We started talking to him and he told us all about how they are going to have a baby and they are so happy and he really wants God to be a part of their family's life. So we asked if we could come talk to them another night when Jenna was home, and he said definitely! Well, Sis Hixson and I on exchanges went and they were really hesitant at first, but after a little while warmed up and we had a great conversation about how the gospel of Jesus Christ can strengthen our families. A week later we went again, but they weren't home, so we left a note. Raul texted us from our number on the note! We were so excited! We set up an appointment this last Wednesday and went to see them. To our surprise, they were super welcoming and their two little nieces were visiting and they had the table set with snacks and we all sat and talked and we had planned to teach the restoration, but instead ended up somehow talking about prayer. But I think that's what they needed. It was so awesome and we have an appointment to return tonight :) Oh and Jenna is a hairdresser and Raul works in LA as some sort of contractor I think, or maybe electrical? I don't know some sort of construction that's kinda high tech.
Ok. I can't think of anything else too exciting.
Our motto this week is We Can Do More. There's this song called we can
do more that I've been playing over and over. "we can do more than we
think we can, more than we ever have, we've just gotta look around...
there are so many people who need a little help - isn't that what life's
all about?" We can do more this week!!!!
And on that note... my ponderize scripture this week is Jacob 5:41 "And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard?"
I love y'all so very much!
Sister Heather Bambas
California Irvine Mission
<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank">email@example.com</a>