Hey y'all!It's been a good week, and I want to thank you because I have really felt your prayers this week.
We have a new investigator that we're working with this week! :) Her name is Georgie and she is 15. She's from Australia, but she's visiting her aunt who's a member in our ward for 3 months on her school break. Her mom already gave permission for us to teach her and we are so excited because she really wants to get baptized on the 21st! We've already taught her the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation and she's been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon every day. It's really cool because Georgie just has this incredibly sweet and sincere desire to learn, and her aunt Kristy told us that's one reason her mom sent her here was to learn about the church with her aunt because Georgie's mom is a member but doesn't go to church, so she wanted Georgie to have her own choice. It's truly a miracle that we're teaching her, and the Spirit is so strong when we do. The best is that Georgie can just talk to her aunt about her questions and when we come to teach, there is always so much to talk about and there are so many people there to help Georgie and guide her along the way. I can't wait to tell you more about her later!
We visited the A family last night and instead of us teaching this time, they taught us! :) haha they shared the Widow's mite story in Mark and then we played a bible quiz game and it was a really perfect little family home evening. :) One of the funniest parts was when Sam said to me, "Are you staying another transfer?? You've been here a minute!" And we all had to laugh because Sister Rolfson was so confused and I didn't realize why until Sam explained to her that "minute" didn't really mean a minute... and I hadn't even realized that was a southern thing.
One of the best parts of my week was a surprise luau our mission threw for President and Sister Orgill! It was so fun! We worked so hard to keep it a secret, and it really paid off because when they came in they were just so filled with joy. They hugged each and every one of us as they walked through our line while we sang, "Called to Serve." We all donned leis and flowers for the night and the Tongan elders brought in a kalua pig to complete the festivities. Then there were some incredible music numbers to celebrate the Orgills and what they've given us and the spirit of love in the California Irvine Mission. The San Clemente Zone did a Hakka, the Newport Zone did a Marshallese dance, and Elder King sang the California Irvine Mission song (which we all joined in on). Sister Rolfson and I sang "We'll Bring the World His Truth" with our ukuleles, and Elder Zhoa sang "I know that My Redeemer Lives" in Mandarin. It was a night of beautiful music, laughter, smiles, and a few tears as we know we will have to say goodbye soon. But we ended with Aloha 'Oe, and we will love the Orgills as long as we have them and more, and we will start our journey with our new president strong! Start Strong, Finish Well, Make it Great.
Thursday night we had another Sister, Sister Shumway, with us at a meeting and we had to bring her home to her apartment and drop her off with her companions afterwards. As we drove up, it started raining really hard (super unusual here) and so we waited and watched from the bottom of the stairs to make sure we could see her get to her door and get inside safely. But as we started to leave, we both just felt like we should go back and check on her. It was really weird and we tried to rationalize at first, saying, "She's fine. We just watched her go inside. It's ok. Why would we go back? We're going to be late getting home!" But we just knew we needed to go, so we turned around and parked again, feeling completely ridiculous. So we ran through the rain and up those 3 flights of stairs and knocked on their door. Sis Shumway was a little confused, but we just explained we felt like we should check on them. So we went in and just said good night and hugged each of them, and it didn't seem super important so we left and went home. That night, we got a text that simply said, "thanks for being an answer to prayer! Your visit may have been brief, but it's good to know God sends people when we need them." We felt on top of the world.
Saturday we were at a baptism with our investigator, Georgie, and a sister in our ward came up to me (her name is Sister Yen) and asked if I had visited her home about 5 months ago. I remembered the visit, and she continued to tell me that my companion and I had challenged their family to read the scriptures every day. Well, they had been! They had since been reading together every single night and she just thanked me for the reminder and encouragement. I was shocked by the story and humbled. I know God really does care about each of His children, and something that may have seemed so small and normal to me meant a lot to her and her family. I guess I still need to work on following up lol.
I know this is true! As we choose to turn to the Lord, He will not only help us lift our burdens, but He will give us reasons to rejoice. I am so grateful to be able to give so much of my time to Him right now, and to see the miracles He works all around us every day. I love these verses from the Book of Mormon about turning to God for strength and choosing to invite the joy He can bring. " Yea, and in the valley of Alma they poured out their thanks to God because he had been merciful unto them, and eased their burdens, and had delivered them out of bondage; for they were in bondage, and none could deliver them except it were the Lord their God. And they gave thanks to God, yea, all their men and all their women and all their children that could speak lifted their voices in the praises of their God." "https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/24.21?lang=eng#20"
I love y'all! Keep looking up this week :)
Sister Heather Bambas
Sister Heather Bambas California Irvine Mission
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