March 7, 2016


Laguna Beach Ward


Sister Alexandra Brown

Grace and Miracles

Yokwe im ALOOOOOOOHA!!!!!!!!!!!!

We had an AMAZING week. So much to tell you about and so little time! First, I apologize in advance that this email will be a little short. But I sent some recordings home to my mom, so I hope she will be able to at least paraphrase those to add to this because they were the coolest moments this week :)

I've had a little trouble with my stomach for a couple weeks, and I'm not sure why. So this week has been really fun so far since we've really cut down my diet to mostly fruits, veggies, eggs, and rice with a lot of vitamin C and protein supplemented green juice to help me get the nutrients I need and try to figure out what's bothering me. I've completely cut out dairy and gluten and we're going to wait a few days before adding them back to see if it helps. I don't know. But hopefully we will get me feeling back in top shape soon. But Tuesday we both felt awful, and we had some bad headaches. But we pushed through as long as we could and then around dinner time we stopped by the Keslers' house. They are an awesome member family in our ward who have a son on a mission in Russia right now. Sister Kesler was an angel and when she noticed we weren't feeling well she got us advil, water, and some cereal :) She was so sweet. Then after sitting down for a few minutes to rest, we felt a bit better and we helped them make waffles for dinner before heading out to work again. Sometimes God knows we just need a little bit of help.

Sister Brown and I are having so much fun! We are really starting to figure out how to work together in unity and we love each other so much. We have gotten a lot better at adjusting our teaching for kids, too, this week since we've taught the "A" family several times. They are doing so well! We had some great lessons with them and we stopped by several times during the week to say hi and share a scripture and let them know we loved them. They have decided to get married either this weekend or next, so we really can have an Easter baptism!!! WE ARE SO HAPPY! Please keep praying for them and we'll let you know how it goes :) Casten (8) and Addison (10) especially have just amazed us with their pure faith and love. Casten helped us act out a story last night about Nephi breaking his bow, and he knew the story better than we did because he chose to use the Book of Mormon and the Bible as his 20 minutes of reading every night for school! So cool!
Other than that, there is a story about finding a new investigator (Jeff) that I hope my mom will type up for you!

Instead of a scripture this week, I wanted to share a brief explanation I wrote to a friend about what Mormons believe about grace: We believe that grace is the enabling power of the Atonement, or the power and mercy Christ can give to us because of what He suffered for us. We believe that salvation, or returning to our Heavenly Father to live with Him, is not possible without our Savior, Jesus Christ. We believe that no matter what we do, we are unable to be perfect as He is, so we cannot return to His presence without His forgiveness and mercy. We believe that His Atonement is absolutely necessary for us to overcome the mistakes and choices we make here on Earth. But we also believe that "faith without works is dead." (James 2:17-26) We believe that if we truly have faith in Jesus Christ, it will lead us to do good works, not to earn our way to heaven, but to become more like Him and follow Him. And we do believe that following Christ and doing our best to become like Him is how we use His Atonement that He gave us. His Atonement gives us the gift not only of canceling our sins and mistakes, but of overcoming them and becoming better and more like Him. So we don't believe that our works get us to Heaven. Rather, we believe that it is "by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." ( 2 Nephi 25:23 This means that in spite of all we can do, we are still saved by grace. We need His Atonement. But because of His Atonement, we strive to become like Him. That is why we do what we do! (ok so that's at least the best explanation I can give in a paragraph via email, so forgive my imperfect explanation) But here are two articles that really really helped me understand grace. The Gift of Grace by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, and His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox.

I think grace is something that is often hard to understand, and I've been studying it a lot recently. I know Heavenly Father loves us. I know Christ's Atonement can help us to find happiness and joy, and I know that is what He wants for us!I love y'all! Have a great week!
Sister Heather Bambas
Sister Heather Bambas
California Irvine Mission
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