February 29, 2016


Laguna Beach Ward


Sister Alexandra Brown

Happy Leap Day Y'all!!

Howdy, y'all! :)  <= I miss that.

Whenever Sis Brown (San Antonio) and I (Memphis/Nashville) get together with Sam (Paris, Texas) and Tosh (Elk City, Oklahoma), we all have a great time and slip straight back into a bit of a drawl :) It's fun y'all.

Last Monday we had a super great lesson with the Adams (Sam, Tosh, Addison, Casten, and Dominic or "Boo Bear") at our Ward Mission Leader's house, the Dunnings. They had kids of similar ages, and it was a party! We wanted to make it a fun and interactive lesson for the kids, so we brainstormed some ideas all weekend... and came up with this: We had some pictures of prophets from the scriptures from the primary that we used to teach them about how Heavenly Father teaches us through prophets. Then we talked about the Great Apostasy, and how when all the apostles died we lost some of the "pieces" of the gospel. So we handed them each a puzzle piece and had them try to put a puzzle together (it had minions on it!! best purchase from walmart ever.) but they couldn't do it because we still had most of the pieces in our bag. So then we let them actually put the whole thing together (it was pretty funny with 6 kids and 3 adults helping out) and we explained that although their pieces were still important and good, they couldn't put the whole picture together without every single piece, just like we needed another prophet to help us have all the pieces of the gospel again. The kids had so much fun, and really understood what we were talking about! Then we finished with a two minute video, """ It's a Mormon Message that just gives the basic ideas of the Restoration, and it helped us finish with the Spirit in a way that both the kids and the adults would understand. The whole family committed to be baptized! We have some details (like Sam and Tosh getting married) to work out as we set a date this week, but we've been discussing some dates with them and they are excited to keep progressing! Addison, the 10 year old, especially had some wonderful questions about the lesson and the Book of Mormon.

During the week, we went over a couple times while the kids were at school and Sam was at work so that we could get to know Tosh better. We wanted to make sure she knew we wanted to help her with her concerns, and we didn't want her to feel like everyone else was progressing without her. It was so fun getting to know her better and talk to her about her questions about the Book of Mormon and our church. She was also very interested in family history, which we're going to start helping them learn more about on Sunday! Tosh reminds me a lot of Rachel. She kinda looks like her a little, but mostly it's just the spirit about her. She is a little reserved at first, but she warms up fast and is very honest and sincere. She's loving and patient, and is always aware of other people's needs, especially her kids'. Her accent sounds kind of like Carrie Underwood when she talks :D She has so much desire to learn, and sooo much faith when we teach her.

Last night we taught them the Plan of Salvation with our Relief Society President, Sister Nielson. She had some amazing insights to add and helped us answer the family's questions simply and clearly. Addison helped us put the pieces of our diagram together, and Sam and Tosh both had really great questions that we were able to talk about. It surprised me as we discussed each piece of the plan how much it all tied in to the temple and family history. I had never seen it before, but the Spirit really helped us teach them how important our families are and I think all of us learned a lot about His plan for us and our families. I can't wait to learn more about family history as we start helping the Adams with their own this week at Bishop Galland's house! Hopefully we will be able to also set a baptism date maybe for March 26.

We had a couple really cool experiences this week. One night we got in the car after dinner and looked at our planners to remember where we were going, and Sister Brown just kinda looked at me and asked, "do you think that's where we really need to go?" and I thought about it. Neither of us really felt like our plans were where we needed to be, so we started trying to figure out who needed us or where we should go. We looked in our directory in our car and saw a couple names that stood out. They were from a list of old referrals we had contacted before but weren't interested. We both felt pretty good about it, so we headed to Mario's house. Turns out, Mario was super happy to see us, and he invited us back again! So we will go see him this week and see how it goes, but we are really hoping that he will be ready to learn :)

The other really cool time was on an exchange I had with Sister Shumway in my area. We were trying to walk to see Sis Cerdas, a less active member in our ward who lives downtown, so it's hard to park close. We were walking along her street and for whatever reason, I just could not remember which of two streets next to each other she lived on. I just could not find her house!! We walked in a big circle, but I just couldn't figure it out. It was so weird. So we went to go see someone else down the road and forgot about it. We just happened to be walking on Sis Cerdas's road on the way back to our car, and at one point I looked over and realized we were right in front of her gate!!! I was so surprised! So of course we went in and were about to knock on the door when we ran into Bro Cerdas on the porch, cleaning up a lot of garbage and leaves from their plants. Sis Cerdas wasn't home, but we got to help Bro Cerdas clean and sweep and pick up the porch area for an hour while we talked to him about the gospel, his conversion story, and his son who is on a mission in Wichita, Kansas. He has such a testimony that the gospel is true, and we had a great time doing service! :) But the best part was the timing. Because they have such a small house, they have never let us inside before, but if we had been too early when we went the first time we wouldn't have met Bro Cerdas outside, and we couldn't go in to teach him anyway because his wife wasn't home. God really does have a way of putting us right where He needs us!!

I love y'all so much and I can't wait to tell you more next week! Happy Leap Day! Sister Heather Bambas

Sister Heather Bambas
California Irvine Mission
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