So.... *drumroll*... I'm leaving Laguna Beach. :'( BUT I'M HEADED TO RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA!! I will be in the Live Oak Canyon ward and for the first time in my mission I will be inland, so no ocean view. sad day. But I will be with the super cool Sister Lockhart. I don't really know anything about her yet, sorry!
This week has been so crazy I only really have one story to tell about Kalani, a 15 year old girl we just started teaching. Here's the story: Bro Brian (our High Priest Group Leader) frequently gives us lists of less actives, new move-ins, or unknowns to track down and we report back what we find out so he can assign home teachers. Well, the Strauss family showed up on this list and we knocked on their door. It was a miracle! Most of the time we get told, "yeah we don't really want to be visited... please don't come back." But the Strausses lit up and were so happy to see us! They were so excited and this sparked and immediate friendship and they started coming to church again. We would stop by and visit or have dinner with them, and they loved feelling the spirit again. Cash (15) had a friend Kalani from her waterpolo team who she brought to a fireside at Bishop's where we met her. Then she asked Cash if she could come to church the next day, where we talked to them in young womens' class and invited her to take the lessons. Then she asked Cash for a BoM and we met up that next weekend for her first lesson! We've taught her twice and it has worked miracles for both her and the Strauss family. We can't wait to see her keep learning!!
I had to say goodbye to so many people this weekend, soooo sad. But I will be back soon!!!
Something we've thought a lot about this week is the power of a testimony of Christ. I found this quote from Elder M. Russell Ballard that I love, "Simply stated, testimony—real testimony, born of the Spirit and confirmed by the Holy Ghost—changes lives. It changes how you think and what you do. It changes what you say. It affects every priority you set and every choice you make. To have a real and abiding testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to be 'spiritually … born of God,' to '[receive] his image in your countenances,' and to experience a 'mighty change in your hearts' (Alma 5:14)." What a powerful thing a testimony is. It is possibly our most precious possession on this earth. Having a true testimony means being truly converted, or not only knowing the gospel, but <i>acting</i> on it. It changes they way you live. It changes your decisions. It changes who you are. Go read <a href="https://www.lds.org/ensign/2004/11/pure-testimony.p1?lang=eng">Pure Testimony</a> by Elder Ballard! :) As I was studying this, I thought of <a href="https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/luke/22.32?lang=eng#31">Luke 22:32</a>, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." When we are truly converted, we will live in such a way that we will strengthen all around us and be a light to the world. We will feel the love and joy of Christ's Atonement and want to share it with everyone by giving them the most powerful gift: sharing our testimony with them. Find someone to share your testimony with this week!
I love y'all so much! More next week,Sister Bambas