So this week was a serious adventure!! I am now in Live Oak Canyon ward with Sister Amber Lockhart, and loving life! :)
Tuesday morning before transfers we taught one last lesson with Morgan, and guess who came along? Kate Hargadon! She was my sister missionary in my home ward! She is pretty much amazing and half the reason I'm here on a mission. And she just so happened to be living for the summer in Laguna Beach. Haha crazy stuff. It was so wonderful to see her and I took it as a tender mercy from the Lord.Tuesday night I started off my stay here in Rancho Santa Margarita with a bang, getting my first ever allergic reaction lol. I sat down in some grass and a few minutes later had hives all over my legs. What the??! Luckily for me it was the end of the night because apparently benadryl KNOCKS ME OUT. Like, hardcore. But man did I sleep well that night.
There is so much work to do here and I am so excited! We don't have any solid progressing investigators right now, but we have several people we are working with and I know good things are coming! The ward is TINY - like, 5 neighborhoods and a grocery store small. But the members though few are so faithful and they are trying their best to get the work moving. How blessed we are here in the California Irvine Mission.
One of my favorite discoveries so far is the canyon, a part of our area that feels so much like home. Think backwoods TN with LOTS of horses, broken down trucks, and dirt/gravel roads about 6 feet wide. People in cowboy hats and a native American man on his front porch just a sittin'. Dogs everywhere. Trees and adorable little houses - each with a ton of character and spunk. One built right around a tree trunk (too much hassle to move the tree haha). It's pretty much my favorite place ever. It just needs a little more grass. But the people there are so genuinely kind and nice! Love them so much already! I wish I had pictures sorry I'll work on that this week. Once this week we pulled over and parked in the canyon and I got out of the car and turned around to see a horse right up in my face!! haha I was surprised but he was a sweetie. He had reached over his fence to come say hello and even let me pet him for a few minutes.
A couple of my favorite people I've met so far live in the canyon. John is a man the sisters met a few weeks ago and he and his wife Cheryl talked to us on their front porch for a good 30 minutes one night this week and we shared the restoration with them. John was so open and wanted to understand so badly how Heavenly Father could answer his prayers. We can't wait to visit them again! Anne, a less active, and her husband Don also live in the canyon. We visited them last night and Anne welcomed us right in and put us to work in the kitchen helping her with dinner haha. I felt right at home as we chatted and cooked and then we ate a bit with them before sharing a message and heading home.
One of the funniest moments this week was in a window we had - we started knocking on doors and ran into two pastors of different churches at the first two houses!! Haha what a lucky street. Later on we met Gina, whose brother is LDS and she let us inside for some water and invited us to come back another time. Hopefully we can catch her again!
Last but not least, Sister Lockhart told me a super funny blonde joke I hadn't heard before!"So there was a blonde whose dad had always told her growing up that if she was driving and got caught in a snowstorm to just pull over and wait for a snow plow truck to follow to a town nearby. So one day it started snowing and she waited for a plow truck, then started following it. After about an hour, the plow truck pulled over and the man asked her, 'Can I help you, Miss?' She replied, 'I'm just trying to follow you because my dad told me it was the safest thing to do in a snow storm.' He scratched his head and said, 'Ok, well, I'm just about done with this parking lot... Would you like to follow me to the next one?' " Hahaha I died laughing.
Also, Paul is going to do baptisms at the temple for the first time Wednesday and we get to go and I'm SO EXCITED!!
Spiritual thought of the week: In "https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/4.43?lang=eng#42 John 4:43-54, there is a story where Christ heals a nobleman's son. I LOVE this story. First, you have to realize that Cana (where Christ was) and Capernaum (where the nobleman traveled from) were approx 20 miles apart, so probably at least a 2 day journey. Also, the only miracle Jesus had publicly performed at this early point in His ministry was turning the water into wine (also in Cana). So when the nobleman comes to find Jesus, he is not only traveling two days away from his dying son, but humble enough to believe in Jesus, to seek Him out, to look past the fact that he is a nobleman and Christ a commoner (or so it seemed). He had enough faith to find Christ and ask Him to come and heal his son 2 days away. Then Christ basically asks him if he can have faith even without proof or miracles, and the nobleman is humble enough to ask Him, to plead with Him, to heal his child. He shows his incredible faith. And then, when Christ assures him that his son is well and tells him to return home, the nobleman has the faith and trust in the Savior to return home... for two days... alone... while his child is dying. And because of that faith, his son is healed. He is converted to the Savior of the world, and all his household with him. He started by having the gift of faith on others' words, then he went to the Savior himself and established his own testimony. Then others believed on his words. Isn't it remarkable what faith can do?
I love y'all so very much!! Keep smiling :)
Sister Heather Bambas
California Irvine Mission
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